The internet has revolutionized many of the things we do, including our leisure pursuits, forcing many businesses to review the way they work and adapt to changing conditions. Gaming has always been at the forefront of technology, and as a consequence was an industry that was quick to adapt to the exponential growth of online. Casino gaming has been a more recent convert to online, but has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry, with a yearly growth rate of around 3 per cent a year.
Changes in online consumption
Once the preserve of younger men, online gaming has seen its demographics change dramatically, with a recent Internet Advertising Bureau report finding that 52 per cent of the gaming audience comprises women. How we consume gaming has also been transformed in recent years. A 2015 report found that due to the acute increase in the use of 4G for mobile surfing - driven largely by our increased appetite for video streaming - a third of all online access is now via the smartphone as opposed to desktop computers, a figure which is up from 23 per cent in 2014. Smartphones are now owned by two-thirds of adults, with the amount of time spent using smartphone devices growing to an average of one hour and 54 minutes per day. This move towards smartphone use is further backed up by statistics from Google which found that more searches now take place on mobile devices rather than on computers. Some industry experts even suggest that in only a couple of years, the smartphone could be the only computing device that we own with the desktop PC industry continuing on a downward drift.
Online revolutionizes gaming
So, mobile devices are reshaping the online gambing industry, with expectations that mobile gambling will account for about 40 per cent of the online gambling market within the next three years. The shift to mobile has motivated many operators to develop a broader range of mobile game offerings, personalizing features and allowing users to access platforms instantly and conveniently on their phones. There are now a plethora of online gaming options available, with traditional casino games such as roulette, blackjack, baccarat, poker, bingo and slot machines still holding sway with people wanting to play from the comfort of their own homes, and the ability to play scratchcards online becoming an increasingly popular option to have a quick hit of gaming with the convenience of the online format.
The move to online and smartphone has meant that the gaming industry has really upped their game as far as the playability and graphics are concerned. Social networking sites can even be linked for greater interactivity, with some casino sites offering a chatroom element allowing players to communicate and network around games. Given these dynamic developments in technology and the dramatic shift towards mobile use in the past few years, it is safe to say that the mobile gambling market is truly set to grow at a speedier pace than ever.