Mobile Gaming: Believe the Hype?
Mobile gaming is an incredibly hot topic in igaming circles and is regularly touted as the greatest thing to happen to the business since the web itself.
While there’s plenty of evidence that mobile gaming is definitely on the rise, some voices in the industry are wondering whether the gap between mobile dreams and mobile reality is getting too big. That’s the question CalvinAyre.com reporter Mike O’Donnel asked in a recent posting titled, Is Mobile Gaming Living Up to Expectations? Here’s what O’Donnel found and how it impacts casino affiliates.
Lots of Mobile Devices, Now What?
Though mobile gaming may not be growing as fast operators and affiliates want it to, that doesn’t mean it’s not growing an significant manner.
For starters, there’s that insanely high global smartphone penetration rate. By the time we ring in 2014, a whopping 22% of the world’s population will own a smartphone. That’s up from just 5% in 2009.
As of 2012, mobile gambling accounted for around €4.5 billion ($6.19 billion USD) in revenue for the igaming industry and that number’s expected to rise up to as much as €19 billion ($26.4 USD) by 2018.
With all that growth and money in play, plenty of gaming operators and affiliates are asking, “Where are the customers?” The short answer to that question is that they’re still out there, but there are some games that just don’t translate well to the mobile format as H2 Mobile Director, Joel Keeble explains:
At the moment visiting a website is a quick and easy to do on a mobile phone but not all types of gambling are well suited. There is a convince with betting on a mobile phone which is a real driver but experienced based gaming (casino, poker, bingo) is still generally better via a PC, for now. Lotteries have performed poorly and poker mobile apps are behind.
He also suggests that mobile gambling isn’t going to reach its full potential until Google and Apple lift their restrictions on real-money gambling apps. But Keebel says apps distributors aren’t the only culprit in this case. He points to a lack of trust from end-users and a cumbersome deposit/withdrawal system that’s anything but consumer friendly.
Keeble is, however, quite bullish on the prospect of mobile gaming growth and suggests that the logjam should be all broken up within the next few years. He seems to think the real turning point should come sometime around 2018 and see rapid growth for around five years.
So what should affiliates do while waiting for the big 2018 mobile boom?
Neither Keeble nor O’Donnel addresses that issues directly but that doesn’t mean affiliates should sit around twiddling their thumbs. Now is an ideal time to start selling your players/readers on the advantages, and trustworthiness, of mobile gaming.