TMCnet Feature
January 20, 2021

Did our smartphones change the way we gamble online? We think Yes as the gaming industry is to be dominated by mobile tech in 2021

Mobile gambling is a technology that has existed pre-COVID for a long time. Yet, when the pandemic hit, it accelerated demand for it as well as other innovations in gaming. Here's how smartphones changed the way we gamble online and why mobile gambling is set to be the norm in 2021. 

It's no doubt that the gambling industry has come a long way. Only two decades ago, it was unimaginable that people could play casino games without visiting the traditional brick-and-mortar casinos. Yet, today things are a lot different. People can bet from anywhere in the world at any time, thanks to their smartphones.  

Mobile technology has taken the gaming industry by storm. Data from Statista shows that smartphone revenue in 2020 was estimated at over $63 billion worldwide. What's more, the global revenue for mobile gaming is expected to grow to over $100 billion by 2023. 

Moreover, it seems that mobile games accounted for 51% of the total global revenue in the online gaming industry; console games come behind with 25% and PC games with 24%. That's strong evidence that players are turning from desktops to their smartphones for entertainment. 

What games do players enjoy the best? According to an infographic from Dotcominfoway, the top types of games users play include:

  • Puzzle games (57.29%).
  • Arcade games (55.60%).
  • Action (34.75%).
  • Adventure (15.51%).
  • Card (15.44%).

As for the top countries with the biggest revenue and mobile players in the gaming industry, the US, China, Germany, Republic Of Korea, and Japan made it to the list.  

So, how exactly did the popularity of smartphones changed the way bettors gamble?

Recent changes in the online gambling industry 

Online gambling is an entertaining activity. It's no doubt here. It gives bettors the thrills and fun of gambling and can also result in some nice profits. But being able to do all this from the comfort of your home, anytime you want, that's a major plus. And, mobile apps and smartphones have brought these benefits to players. 

There are many ways in which mobile casino apps have reshaped the online gambling industry. For example, the growing popularity of smartphones has led to a growth in mobile casino apps. These online casino apps are optimized to allow players to enjoy the same gameplay and features but more comfortably from smaller screens. 

Besides that, smartphones have also opened the door to faster online banking methods for gamblers. More precisely, most online casino apps have introduced payment methods such as Apple Pay or Pay By Phone (News - Alert), methods that make withdrawal and deposit timeframes much faster. Another payment innovation brought by technology to online casinos is the blockchain casinos. These casinos also accept cryptocurrency payments, and thanks to blockchain technology, players remain anonymous and can make more secure payments. 

Mobile technology in the gaming industry has also brought some really cool innovations that enhance users' experience. For example, virtual reality casinos are the most recent innovation in online gambling. VRC include features like real-like slot machines, 3D game tables, in-game chats, and very realistic game rooms and real casino sounds. That's right! You could be sitting on your couch at home but see and hear exactly what happens in a real casino. 

Take Casitabi online casino, for example. This Japanese online casino stands out from many others as it provides a unique RPG-style virtual gaming experience for players. The name of this casino loosely translates into "casino trip," and that's because users embark on a journey that takes them through four main kingdoms of the casino: Treasure Island, Treasure Fort, Mythical Mountain, and Kazipan Kingdom. And, on top of that, players can role-play while enjoying the multiple entertaining games offered by this online casino. Casitabi's website is particularly suitable for Japanese players as it fits everything the Japanese market is about, including many colorful elements, cartoonish virtual hosts, and engaging animations. 

Mobile gambling potential growth in 2021

In 2019, an estimated 50% of people used their smartphones to gamble. This figure is most likely increased now as access to land-based casinos was limited for almost a year now. 

Brick-and-mortar casinos experienced some vast losses last year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. As governments worldwide issued stay-at-home and lockdown measures, players no longer visited traditional casinos. Yet, that's not the case for online casinos. In fact, in some countries, data shows that online mobile casinos recorded almost a 100% increase.  

It is anticipated that mobile and touchless technology will play an even larger role in 2021, mainly due to social distancing restrictions still in place in some parts of the world, but also for the ease of the players. Bettors have already had a taste of what it is like to keep getting entertainment from casino games but from the comfort of their own homes, at any time they want. So, it's only natural that they'll continue to access the same entertainment more comfortably, as they got used to. 

Besides that, even if lockdown or social distancing restrictions will be removed, many players may still have some health concerns that will encourage them to keep playing online instead of visiting the traditional, brick-and-mortar casinos. So, it's very unlikely to see as many people return to land-based casinos as they had pre-COVID. This is definitely bad news for traditional casinos but great news for online casinos. 

As for the online casino trends we're expecting to see this year, mobile gaming, virtual reality gambling, cryptocurrency payments, an increase in online casino providers, and growth in popularity of e-sports betting make it to the list. 

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