For younger generations, it’s probably difficult to remember a time before the advent of gambling online. Back in the mid-to-late 1990s, when the online gambling industry was taking off, people were huddled round desktops, mouse and keyboard in hand, checking the odds of the latest sports game, or spinning basic slot machines in the hope of a big win.
And though it is only 20 years ago, it feels like a bygone age. Today, mobile is what is on the mind of industry heavyweights, and that has only been possible due to the rise of the smartphone, and its ever-increasing levels of capability.
So when a new generation of mobile devices is available you can safely wager that the biggest names in online casino and betting will be getting very excited.
Why tech is vital for online casino success
In many ways, the gambling industry has always been quick off the mark when it comes to tech. Aside from the porn industry, some of the earliest adopters of the power of the World Wide Web were the entrepreneurs of online casinos and betting.
Translating sports betting to the internet, and then on to mobile devices has, mostly, been quite simple. The notion of walking into the high street bookies to make a bet now feels like some sort of act of nostalgia, like paying for something by cheque or having your milk delivered to your doorstep.
But bringing the online casino experience of graphically advanced slot games, spinning roulette wheels and live dealer streaming from a large desktop monitor to, let’s say a 5.5-inch, mobile screen, is perhaps a bit more tricky.
And that’s where mobile technology comes in. Players want an uncluttered, graphically impressive, fast online casino gameplay, with a top quality user experience to boot.
Enter the new breed
It’s safe to say that Samsung and Apple are the marker by which all other phones are judged. Samsung has released its new S8 to the market this spring, while Apple’s iPhone 8 is a little further away, but already promising another leap forward.
Samsung’s flagship smartphone now has the capability of a pretty decent laptop, and that’s significant to players of online casinos.
Let’s start with that jaw-dropping Infinity Display. What better way to experience the razzle dazzle of a live casino or the video game-like graphics of some of the most advanced slots around today? It’s all about immersion, and that bezel free display should really pull the player into the experience.
The eight-core CPU will give the phone the staying power with live dealer games without stutters or drop-outs. The responsive and quick user interface will also cut the frustration for players of the obvious limitations of a small screen for online casinos with a wealth of playing options.
And for the security conscious, there is facial recognition to help keep those precious winnings safe.
Will the iPhone 8 hit the jackpot?
If it’s stunning visuals players want, then the iPhone 8 looks set to take it to another level. We are likely to see a curved edge-to-edge display – in fact rumours are that it will have a display that covers almost the entire front of the device.
For safety, the reports are that facial recognition could be implemented, like the S8, as well as fingerprint ID.
And as online casino gaming can be pretty power hungry for devices, the news that wireless charging might be implemented, could come as a tonic for the avid player.
All that coupled with Apple’s next generation of processor, (the A10X or A11) and this should be a device that will take online casino gaming to another level.
The stats don’t lie. Mobile gambling in all its various forms represents the biggest sector in UK gambling generally, worth £4.5 billion for the year to March 2016, according to the UK Gambling Commission. It is on an upward trend, having been worth about £3.7 billion the year before.
Luke Page, editor at Casinopedia, the online casino news and learning resource, said: “The mantra for many in the online casino and betting sector now is ‘mobile first’.
“As smartphone technology develops, the quality and variety of what mobile players can be offered will continue to become more and more impressive.
“The industry has made a huge pivot to mobile, and some online casinos, like LeoVegas, have become industry heavyweights thanks to their focus on players on-the-go.”
“With the speed of mobile networks improving all the time, I can only see the rise and rise of mobile casino gaming.”