Not so long ago, as online casino gaming’s momentum grew, commentators were talking about the need for online casinos to embrace the mobile age. Today, the idea of a casino not being accessible from a mobile handset is unthinkable. Smartphone penetration is up around 90 percent in some parts of the western world, and the advent of affordable handsets and 5G mean adoption in developing nations in, for example, Western Africa and the Indian subcontinent is also escalating rapidly.
Taking mobile first to new extremes
After a spike in 2020/21 due to hybrid working, PC sales fell by 20 percent in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the previous year. In Europe and the US, people are reaching for their phones instead of PCs or laptops to get online. That is even more the case in developing nations, where PCs are still mostly for business use and are less common in the average home.
Casino game developers are well aware that mobile is not just the platform of choice for iGamers. In a growing number of cases, it is the only option available. Games are now designed with mobile users first and foremost in mind.
An interesting route that many casinos have taken is to stick with web apps for their mobile experience. This means accessing the site from a mobile browser instead of installing an app. Some major brands, including PlayStar Casino have gone down this road, and they contend it brings several benefits. There is no need to worry about compatibility for iOS or Android (News - Alert), the app takes up no storage space on the device and updates happen online, so there is never any need to install new versions or patches.
There is also the fact that the major app stores operated by Apple (News - Alert) and Google are still somewhat leery about real money iGaming apps, and only make them available in certain jurisdictions.
Other advantages of mobile casino gaming
The convenience of being able to play anywhere and any time, and the fact that today’s casino games are mostly optimized for mobile are two major attractions of mobile casino gaming. But there are other advantages, too.
Mobile platforms also tend to offer a more secure playing environment – malware and spyware are not unheard of on mobile devices but are far more commonplace on Windows. Also, some platforms offer special promotions and VIP perks that are only accessible to mobile users.
Don’t write off your desktop just yet
Without doubt, mobile is the preferred platform for today’s casino gamers. But PCs and laptops are far from obsolete, and in some cases still offer some advantages.
Live games still tend to benefit from the larger screen in order to provide the best experience. Also, for serious poker players who enjoy multi-screen action, a desktop remains the only practical choice, at least for now. That could all change with the next generation of smartphones, but that is a story for another day.