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Smartphones and What Anticipated Developments Mean for Online Gamblers

Find out how technological developments could change the online gambling experience.


19 Jun 2016

Online betting continues to be a growing market and plays a big role in shaping the dynamic of the global gambling industry.

A recent market research report by Transparency Market Research, titled Online Gambling and Betting Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2014 – 2020, has looked into the gambling industry, how it has evolved in recent years and projected some further growth areas in the close future.

Below are a few areas that the research touched upon and a brief overview of where some of these forecasts currently are:

The expanding network of data services

One of the big developments on the horizon, earmarked for as soon as 2020, is the birth of 5G technology. The demand for online gaming and entertainment is one reason for the need for the next stage of the mobile data experience.

Ultimately, the promise of 5G is that users can profit from substantially faster data speeds and allow users to benefit from a more connected world.

In terms of online casinos, there is already a major demand for games to resemble the live experience as much as possible. Improvements in streaming and server stability have made this possible to a degree, but it has in reality only touched the tip of the iceberg.

The difference in speed is as such that a movie which currently takes multiple minutes to download will be available in seconds with 5G and so users can expect to immediately be transported to a casino environment.

Meanwhile, there is the additional scope for gamers to benefit from a much more personalised experience.

This could be a 360-degree perspective of a room and layout or the ability to literally get off a chair at a blackjack table and head over to the roulette wheel as if the player had actually left their house and stepped foot inside the casino.

Upgraded latency is another anticipated benefit of 5G, which effectively is the time delay between two networked points.

Some online casino gamblers may currently experience a delay when clicking a button to place a bet or asking a question to a dealer over live chat. This will no longer be the case.

The continued rising number of smartphone users

Research from Ofcom last year highlighted that smartphone ownership levels had reached record numbers, with two-thirds of people now possessing a model. A clear shift was also noted in the phones overtaking laptops as the most popular device for using the internet.

Another report from Ericsson predicted that over six billion smartphones would be in circulation globally by 2020, which is over double the number currently subscribed. The capacity for smartphones to reach lesser-developed countries is one reason for the lofty projection.

Therefore, it is nothing revolutionary to envisage the number of people gambling online to meaningfully grow in the next decade, especially if the development of 5G converts an even greater number of land-casino visitors to switch to playing more frequently online.

Worldwide smartphone sales may be growing less at present in comparison to recent years and the opportunity for notable evolution may be slowing down, but developments can still enhance the experience of users.

This may be longer battery life, flexible screens, better voice control or enhanced computer-generated sensory such as graphics and sound.

It is not beyond possibility that the smartphone may be surpassed in the next decade by a currently uninvented device, whether it be wearable or handheld.

Social media involvement

With more people using smartphones, comes more people having accounts on social media platforms.

Gambling companies currently do a good job in aggressively targeting potential users with their campaigns, whether these are paid adverts on Facebook or prominent banners on aggregator sites, high-member forums or popular blogs.

Expect possible new or existing users to be even more subjected to targeted advertisements in the future, tailored to the individual in question.

Trailblazing marketing strategies are certain to follow specifically for the smartphone audience, while mobile apps which are easier for a gambler to use can be expected to develop further too.