Every online casino is intent on increasing its profits. Different operators use different methods for this purpose: some are attracting new clients with the use of engaging bonus program and massive game offering, others are launching promotional web campaigns aimed at a large audience. There is, however, another vital point: maximizing the time players spend in the casino. In order to do this, you need them to always have the casino in the pocket, not only on their PCs. Mobile casinos fully meet these demands. They are available anywhere: in public transport and in queues, at cafes and hotels, and even outside city limits. All it takes is a smartphone with Internet access.
So, what is a mobile casino? It is a mobile version of online casino which is designed for smartphones and tablets and compatible with one or more operating systems. Virtually any online casino is initially designed for PC, with the exception of the rare cases when designers use a mobile-first approach and make a mobile version before a PC one.
There are two big groups of mobile casinos: browser-based andapp-based. The former work like normal websites. They have the same URL as the main website but sometimes may be located on a sub domain.
Mobile apps are installed on smartphones and tablets and work independently of a website. Generally, they are available for downloading on a casino’s website. This is especially the case for Android applications: Google Play prohibits gambling products whereas iOS apps are freely available at AppStore. At the current time operators are slowly moving away from applications.
What do mobile casinos offer?
A typical mobile casino contains the same text elements as its desktop version: Terms & Conditions, FAQ, etc. It has fewer images: after all, the small screen size has its limitations. For users’ convenience, a website’s navigation is typically hidden in a hamburger button or in another drop-down menu. Overall, a mobile website’s content has no essential differences from its desktop original. So, what does a regular player want when they visit a mobile casino?
When the first online gamescame out in the second half of the 1990s, smartphones did not exist yet and those games were developed only for PC using Flash technology. In 2007,with the first iPhone coming out, gambling software providers started to look closely at this new trend, while continuing to make slots for PC. Mobile traffic kept increasing over the years and a variety of large providers (Betsoft, NetEnt, etc.) decided to enter the mobile segment.
- a possibility of receiving the same bonuses as in a desktop version: a deposit bonus, cash back, free spins, etc. Needless to say, a user wants not only to receive them, but also to wager these bonuses on their mobile device. Some operators design bonuses exclusively for smartphones and tablets: for example, a welcome bonus which is available only for mobile users;
- an access to payment systems for deposits and withdrawals;
- a customer support via chat, email, or phone;
- preferably, a presence of live dealer games. This is unfortunately a rare occurrence for mobile casinos. Mobile Internet channel is not strong enough for an uninterrupted broadcast which is quite demanding on connection bandwidth;
- a decent games offering with a user-friendly interface (ideally with a landscape mode) and a free demo with no registration required. Many mobile casinos offer demo mode only for registered players.
But there lied a problem: slots (and obviously other games, but their percentage in any provider’s arsenal is quite small) used Flash which, unfortunately for the developers, was not supported by Apple’s operating system. As for Android, it stopped supporting Flash after the 4.1 version of the OS. Therefore, for complete compatibility with mobile devices, gambling companies had to redevelop existing slots using HTML5. For instance, when the transition to HTML5 started in 2010-2012, Microgaming already had a few hundreds of Flash games. This process is still going on, that is why any games provider has less mobile slots than desktop solutions.
Games offering of mobile casinos
In a typical mobile casino you can find lots of interesting slots with 5 reels, classic 3-reel games and even some progressive slots (such as, for example, Mega Moolah by Microgaming).Mobile games range also consists of several roulette types, blackjack, baccarat, craps, bingo, keno and scratch cards. Some casinos offer live games of outstanding developers, such as Evolution Gaming, Extreme Gaming and others.
According to independent analyst company StatCounter, in October 2016 mobile traffic percentage for the first time exceeded desktop one, although just 5 years before it had been about 7-8%. Given this tendency, mobile casinos will only evolve. Operators will quite likely develop engaging bonus programs for mobile users, fill casinos with gambling content and improve usability. Nowadays, an absence of a mobile version is considered more as disrespect for gamblers. Besides, by ignoring a mobile version, a casino loses a large part of its profit due to being unable to approach potential users of smartphones and tablets.