Back in the early days of online gambling, all activity was confined to computers. This might sound strange today, but back in the day, phones were nowhere near the right devices to run any games beyond Nokia’s Snake.
As the phones evolved, so did the iGaming industry, embracing the innovation made possible by the constantly broadening band of mobile internet connections and the ever-increasing computing power of smartphones. As it turns out, smartphones and online gambling are a match made in heaven. Here’s why.
Smartphones are the best platform for casual gaming. People always have their phones at hand, constantly checking updates, texting, “doomscrolling”. People reach for their phones whenever they have a few minutes to spare. And many of them play casual and hyper-casual games.
Casino games are somewhere between the casual and hyper-casual genres. This makes it perfect to be played on smartphones. As a result, the vast majority of casino players prefer to play on smartphones, sneaking in a few spins on a slot machine or a few hands of blackjack every occasion they get. For this, a mobile-first approach is vital.
Smartphones have become the largest and most profitable gaming platform in the world. Mobile has overtaken traditional platforms like PCs and consoles when it comes to revenue. According to a recent estimate by Newzoo, mobile games will generate total revenues of more than $90 billion in 2023, around 49% of the entire industry’s revenues. And it will become responsible for more than half of the industry’s income starting next year.
Smartphones represent the gaming platform with the largest player base already – almost 90% of the population has smartphones today. That’s close to 7 billion people. A different study shows that most smartphone owners will install at least one game on their smartphone within a week of purchasing it. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that smartphones are the single biggest platform both in traditional gaming and online gambling.
Although the number of smartphones in the world is already huge, it never stopped growing. With smartphone shipments growing each year, we can expect the world’s entire population to own a smartphone in just a few years.
African countries are currently among the fastest-growing smartphone and mobile game markets. There’s a growing number of Android casinos in South Africa and Nigeria, making them some of the most dynamic markets in the world currently. Betting is the most popular branch of the iGaming industry in these countries, but casino games are also growing fast.
Why did iGaming go mobile-first in recent years? Well, because smartphones and gambling are a match made in heaven. Casino games make the perfect casual games to play on the go, even when players only have a few minutes to spare. Betting on the go is a great experience, with constant updates, notifications and live streams right in the punters’ pockets as long as they are done responsibly, of course.