Since the birth of mobile gambling, with Pub Fruity storming the UK in 2004 and Playtech’s first venture into the casino industry in 2005, online play has become a massive, multi-national craze. All around the world – even in Japan, whose strict laws around gambling have been navigable only through online gaming and Pachinko – people now rely on trustworthy mobile casinos for the thrill of a bet, and the passing of an hour in this seemingly endless lockdown. The extent to which mobile gambling boomed could never have been expected; from its somewhat timid first attempts on the gaming world, it has become a 70 billion dollar global market. This figure is projected to double in coming years, and with humanity’s nose-dive into the sea of technological advancement, it shows no sign of slowing down.
The mobile gambling industry was not entirely unprecedented. In 1994, gambling websites were set up in the Caribbean due to the passing of a Free Trade and Processing Act;this allowed Antigua and Barbuda what were essentially the first rights on online casinos. That said, most of those sites were for either poker or sports-betting, and didn’t bear nearly as close a similarity to casinos as the mobile industry would soon offer. By the time phones were brought into the mix, gamblers all around the world were aware of its online presence; this had speedily escaped its monopoly in the Caribbean, and towards the end of the 20th century was widespread across the internet.
It was the development of Microgaming, a gaming software company, which really paved the way for mobile gambling. The industry began as an ambitious venture into the more general gaming world, operating on the rudimentary flash software of the early 00’s. With Microgaming, and the previously unseen ferocity with which technology advanced around the turn of the century, it expanded rapidly.
The Fight for Dominance
As with any industry whose potential quickly shows face, many budding tycoons quickly hopped on-board. Many more casinos became available to the public, and development of the technology by which they offered their services was accelerated accordingly. In much the same way war necessitates a boom in research and innovation, the battle for profits in the online gambling world led to impressive gain. Casinos began offering better deals and bonuses to first-time players, which we still see today, to see a clear example of this look at this page from Japan 101 which breaks down the best, current offers from popular Japanese casinos looking to entice new players. Because of this, the industry welcomed a flood of new customers, and the tidal wave of online gambling saw its first small ripple.
In the space of a decade, mobile gambling had grown into a market of 5 billion dollars. This number would have been closer to double, except profits were heavily affected by the US introduction of a prohibition on internet gambling. In spite of this obstacle, the global market continued to soar. The year 2012 saw mobile casinos introduced to Android, iOS and Windows, and with the expansion of these into the massive industries they are now, mobile gambling was essentially given the wings of a much larger bird.
Mobile Gambling - Today and Tomorrow
The gambling industry is one which attracts far faster and deeper than any other kind of gaming. While gambling carries with it a hefty reputation, sanctions and aid for those addicted are being rolled out by governments almost as fast as improvements to the games. Japan – a massive market for the mobile gaming industry – remains a prime example of this; the Japanese government recently set up a board of commissioners, focused on preventing and treating gambling addiction. This development comes hand-in-hand with the long-awaited legalization of on-ground casinos, which are set to be introduced to the country in 2025.
Mobile gambling stands to double its current 70 billion dollar market by the year 2030, but with the newest problem dealt to us in Covid-19, it would be big surprise to see it reach an even greater number.
Many digital businesses have blossomed since the dawn of mobile technology in the early 00’s, but few have seen such an insatiable pull as that of online gambling. The industry continues to take the world by storm, and now that its audience-base has been so far widened, investors will be watching how it fares more keenly than ever.