The gambling industry is big. In fact it’s so big that nobody can really estimate just how big it really is any more, although some researchers estimate there could be more than 65 million service providers catering to the market. And the fastest growing sector of the gambling industry is, not unlike almost any other industry, the market aimed at mobile phone users.
The main driving factors behind the growth of this sector include:
- Ever-increasing numbers of people getting connected
- Lower technology costs
- People becoming more comfortable with technology
- Increased confidence and trust in online purchasing
- Increased confidence and trust in gambling providers
- Overall changes in social regard towards gambling
- Overall changes in the financial climate
Obstacles to even faster expansion may include:
- Stricter government regulation in some areas
- Territorial restrictions that can be confusing for some users
- Societal concern in some areas that online and mobile gambling is unsupervised
- Sign-up difficulty, due to anti-money-laundering laws and stringent identity verification
- Politicians seizing upon gambling as their “cause of the day” to win votes
- Active lobbying against online and mobile gambling in some areas
- Competition from casinos and other traditional gambling venues
- Negative perception of the industry created by media reports and portrayal in fiction
All in all, however, the only way for this industry to go is up. Right now it is practically an unstoppable force, with only the possibility of a complete permanent failure of cellular networks being capable of removing its presence. In truth, there is very little possibility of that happening.
The main trend at the moment is the development of new mobile apps, providing a greater choice of gambling options and catering to different tastes in gaming. The range of choice is staggering (these days it’s even possible to play bingo on mobile, as at bingoonmobile.co.uk), but it’s probably still not enough. Even more development needs to take place, and it’s absolutely certain that it will.
One of the key challenges for mobile gaming providers is that they have to compete against traditional gambling venues for the market. There’s certainly no risk of collapse whatever happens, but traditional venues do offer things that mobile currently can’t do, including a social aspect (at least being near other people engaged in the same activity), an exciting environment, complete isolation from the outside world, entertainment, and low cost or even free snacks and drinks.
On the other hand, mobile gambling applications offer convenience and accessibility that are superior to the offline counterparts. Mobile gambling may also be more discrete, as a person can participate in it anywhere and any time. Attending a traditional gambling venue requires actually being present there.
Europe, and by extension the UK, is in sharp contrast to the American industry. European players have far more choice in which services they will sign up with, and it means providers have had to be far more competitive. Because of this, there has been considerable innovation in software development, which is a trend we can expect to see continue in 2017.