Online gambling, otherwise known as iGaming, is one of the great success stories of the mobile internet era. Yet it’s one that only began to take off after the advent of things like affordable data packages and public Wi-Fi. With all of its pieces now in place, online casino companies are experiencing rapid growth – especially in the UK and Europe.
Mobile gambling is banking $37bn a year;Â a sum that could grow 9% year on year to 2020, according to research groupÂ Technavio. The same source attributes much of that growth to sports betting, with a market share of 47%, and casino, which has a 21% slice of the sector. The latter pursuit is worth a reported $8bn all on its own.
But what is it about iGaming that endears it to consumers so much?
The development of casino apps and mobile websites helped iGaming companies reach potential customers on a 24hr basis by putting their favorite games onto their smartphones and tablets. But, obviously, a mere presence doesnâ€™t naturally translate to bumper sales. So, what else can the boom be attributed to? Here are a few other reasons why roulette and poker games are enjoying a surge in popularity.
The iGaming sector is notable for accepting payment methods that range from standard debit and credit cards to cryptocurrencies. Itâ€™s not just about innovation and standing out in a crowded market; the advantage of this approach is that companies can accept money from anybody, anywhere in the world.
PocketWin is a good example of an iGaming company that offers multiple payment methods for customers. The website accepts the usual trifecta of Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal but the addition of an option to make a casino deposit by phoneÂ means that customers can play games but make the payment with their mobile bill each month.
A variety of game types has always been a big draw for casino fans, but promotions and freebies get customers through the door. To use the above website as an example, PocketWin offers free spins and plays on its slots and bingo games. Welcome bonuses, loyalty bonuses, and so-called high-roller bonuses (for making large deposits) are also common in the iGaming industry.
Social Opportunities Â
It wonâ€™t be a surprise to anybody who has played the game, but poker is as much a social activity as a competitive encounter. This is a trait that the iGaming industry has replicated in the notoriously faceless arena of the Internet. Perhaps the greatest example of a â€˜social casinoâ€™ is in pokerâ€™s first forays into virtual reality (VR) with the Oculus Rift headset.
Online casino is not as social as the offline game. But recent developments in VR for poker, roulette, and slots hope to change that by placing competing players in a VR casino, where they can interact with each other. The availability of VR casino for the Samsung Gear means that itâ€™s something that mobile gamers can enjoy as well as PC players.
As a final point, iGaming owes some of its popularity to growing confidence in mobiles and tablets as alternatives to PCs as far as making payments and deposits is concerned. In fact, smartphones overtook computers as the preferred option for shoppers earlier this year. Thereâ€™s still a great deal of potential left in mobile commerce too, with the onus on developers to make payments faster and less time consuming.