By Ron Mendelson, Fast Offshore Founding Partner

Mobile gambling: What the statistics say for the future

Much of the online gambling growth is being fuelled by mobile users, Ron Mendelson says.

Ron Mendelson is the Director of Costa-Rica based International Business & Corporate Services consultancy firm, Fast Offshore. With over 24 years of real-world experience in iGaming Licensing and Payments, Regulatory Compliance, Tax-Efficient Corporate Structuring, Incubator and other Hedge Fund Licenses, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency related services, he advises a number of international clients on their business needs in the Americas, Europe, and beyond.

Reading time 3:08 min
In its latest column for Yogonet, the igaming consultant shares specific numbers to illustrate the potential size of the mobile gaming market, and he also outlines its particular benefits, and the options and steps available for providers.

There is no doubt that smartphones have revolutionized our lives. In the last decade, the smartphone has evolved from something that was just for communication, to a device that can carry out as many tasks, if not more, than your average computer. We manage our finances, work, conduct business meetings, stay up to date on news and current affairs, and even execute trades and investments from our phones, wherever we are. But we also gamble.

The online gambling sector is going through a period of exceptional growth. With a CAGR of 11.5% predicted for the next seven years, it’s an exciting and dynamic industry to be in. Much of this growth is being fuelled by mobile users.

How big is the potential market?

Around 35% of the world’s population has access to a mobile phone, equivalent to 2.71 billion people. While not all of them are potential gambling clients, this gives you an idea of just how popular and widespread smartphones are.

Currently, some 1.6 billion people around the world gamble regularly, and around 4.2 billion gambles every year. With over 2.3 billion people taking part in online gambling, you can easily summarise that many online gamblers like to use their mobiles to bet.

Benefits of mobile gambling

There are several benefits and reasons why people prefer online gambling. They include:

  • Mobile devices are convenient. Players can log on and gamble wherever they are and whenever they want, as long as they have internet access.
  • Gambling from a mobile device can be secure as most devices have biometric authentication, including iris, fingerprint, and facial recognition. They are also able to utilize 2-factor authentication and SSL security technology, adding additional layers of protection.
  • Mobile gamblers can pay easily and securely from their device. eWallets, mobile authentication, and other forms of electronic payments work well from mobile devices, and payments can be made with a swish of the thumb.
  • Gambling from mobile is more discreet than logging on from a laptop or PC. It provides added privacy for the gambler.
  • Many games and sites are configured for online gambling, meaning that the quality is comparable to gambling from a PC or laptop.
  • Some sites even offer mobile-only games, offers, and benefits, for those gambling from a portable device.
  • Mobile phones of today, and the future, are fast, efficient, and technologically advanced enough to offer a superior gambling experience.

What are your options as a provider?

If you are providing online gambling services in 2021, you need to be ready for mobile gamblers. Your website should be at least fully optimized for mobile use. This includes not just the site itself but all the games, betting functions, payment options, and customer service. Your site should be optimized for Android and iOS, ensuring those with older and more modern devices can use the site. 

Nowadays, operators opt for mobile-first sites, designing their websites by picking crucial elements that fit in limited space screens first, and then expanding the design for bigger screens, such as laptops and desktops, with more advanced elements and information. This, to ensure that their user's experience is seamless on any device. 

More than 50% of consumers, in general, prefer to download an app and use it when the option is available. Hence, many operators also opt for creating a mobile-first website plus a downloadable app. An app can help customers stay on your site for longer, and you have options to make it more secure. 

You can set biometric identification and integration with payment apps for a smoother customer experience. It can also be quicker for players to find their way around when compared to a website. Lastly, customer service can be integrated into the app, meaning players can simply swipe when they want to speak to an agent.

Offering a mobile app is not 100% necessary right now. You can get by just fine with a great quality mobile site, but an app is always a bonus for players. Furthermore, as the statistics show us, the future is very much mobile, and at some point, you will likely have to consider an application for your services. 

The smartest decision for startups is to create a mobile-first site from the word go. Don’t cut corners when it comes to design and testing. If you have the budget, an app is a great addition, but if not, don’t stress about it too much. Keep your eyes on market statistics and projections and keep further optimization and the creation of an app on your agenda for the future. Mobile gambling is here to stay!

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