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The swift and unexpected rise of mobile gaming

J. Salvina

Within just a few short years, games of chance largely moved away from land-based casinos towards electronic, remotely operated services, greatly expanding the customer base in the process.

Everything is going mobile these days, so it looks natural that major casino gaming operators are adopting this channel of operations. However, if you look back just a little bit, this development wasn’t so obvious even to people deeply involved in this business. Concerns about security and social acceptability that once seemed prohibitive have now mostly been resolved, so it’s easy to forget that placing a bet over your mobile phone in seconds sounded like science fiction not too long ago.

Traditionally, casino gaming takes place in a heavily regulated environment. Depending on the jurisdiction, some formats of gaming have been legalized with plenty of restrictions determining who and where can organize the games. The reasons for such a stringent attitude are clear – governments wanted to keep the criminal elements away from this lucrative business and maintain a degree of control. However, consumer appeal of electronic gaming proved too great to ignore for the major legal gaming operators, who started to explore the possibilities for branching out almost as soon as the technical conditions were met. That’s why many traditional powerhouses soon branched out into mobile waters and most of them are very happy they made such a move.

Las Vegas
Las Vegas

Take real money casino William Hill Vegas for example – this is a company with long tradition and a broad international network of offices that was always eager to expand its operations to new markets. They were among the first to embrace online gaming and saw great benefits from such a move, opening their services for the people who don’t necessarily live in the area where the casino is located. By allowing the bets to take place over the internet, William Hill and others jumped ahead of the curve and transformed their business operations into truly global endeavors.

Mobile technology soon took things to another level entirely. The unprecedented privacy that mobile channel affords is a great match for the gaming industry that was struggling to expand its base beyond its core constituency. For many people, physically visiting the casino was too costly and time-consuming, while for some it could also convey a negative image in the community. None of this matters on the mobile platform, since the games can be played anywhere, anytime and without the need to explain one’s action to anyone. Pretty soon, casino gaming turned into a pure entertainment product that could be marketed to younger customers with lower income levels, and even families.

Success of this strategy was fast and dramatic. Mobile casino gaming has been undergoing vast expansion in recent years, with dozens of providers competing for customers by offering large sing up bonuses and other perks to new players. With broadband speeds now common for mobile networks around the world, the gaming experience is quite satisfying and offers plenty of excitement, especially with live dealer games and similar interactive techniques. Of course, the level of excitement still can’t match a visit to Vegas so land-based casinos are not in a danger of disappearing in the near future, but at this point it is beyond any doubt that mobile gaming is here to stay.

Some challenges still remain – from securing balanced conditions for the operators across different legal systems to enabling broader support for various payment methods. However, with so much money on the line, it’s a safe bet that these and other issues will be resolved in the near future by decisive action jointly taken by operators and regulators. To put it simply, the advantages of the mobile channel greatly outweigh any remaining obstacles to continued expansion and it is reasonable to expect further refinement of mobile gaming products and even better customer service. If you happen to enjoy casino games from time to time, you are in luck right now and things will only get better going forward!