We have come a long way since the days of the brick sized cell phones of lore. We went from choppy call quality and massive sized batteries to phones that now can fit in your pocket and rival the computing power that we have on our PCs. That evolution has taken place over the course of several decades, and is pretty impressive in its own right.
However there is an advancement that is perhaps even more impressive than mobile phone development. That advancement is the evolution of mobile based betting games.
It seems that for as long as there has been the internet, people have found a way to gamble on it. The world started out rudimentary, with the popping up of several Caribbean based betting sites after Antigua and Barbuda allowed such sites to be licensed in 1994. Sites at the time were limited by computing power and the speed of dialup internet connections, but these beginning sites laid the foundation for today’s mobile based betting world.
As the internet advanced, so did online casinos. The software and transaction security evolved to the point where punters felt safe having a flutter in their homes. At the same time, mobile phones started becoming smaller and affordable for the every man. Games like Breakout, Tetris, and Backgammon, were simple in their own right, but the fact that players could play these on their phone allowed them to consolidate their devices and mobile betting was born.
Those first mobile wagering games were simple, with games adapted for small screen devices that still used somewhat simple processors. In a world that had yet to see the invention of a reliable and accurate touch screen, punters would place bets using an arrow button and enter wagering amounts using their keypads.
Even with the rudimentary looks and gameplay, it was still a revolution. Imagine if you were speaking to casino leaders in the early days of Vegas, telling them that in the future you would have the ability to play a slot machine by using a telephone that was small enough to fit into your pocket. You probably would have been locked up in a psychiatric ward!
Players were now given the freedom to play these basic games, but the business remained a relative niche in comparison to the rapidly expanding and evolving PC gambling world, which was seeing networked poker games and progressive jackpots being offered in several countries throughout the world.
That all changed with one device. The iPhone.
As much as we like to goof on the iPhone around here, there is no doubt that it created the kick in the pants that the mobile world needed. Consumers were finally given a piece of technology that gave an experience that was revolutionary. Users could use their cellular connection to get effective directions, use the internet, and (eventually) download third party apps. Google followed a year later when it offered its Android smartphone solution.
The die was cast, and mobile internet gambling was set to expand at a rapid clip. The quality of various gambling games improved substantially, with touch based controls and a larger screen which enabled players to view more of what exactly was going on. Devices with higher horsepower allowed for casinos to release higher quality slot games that offered more fluid animations and unique bonus rounds.
Today we are seeing that evolution continue. Gaming suppliers such as Microgaming, Playtech, and Net Entertainment all have mobile divisions in their firms which are dedicated to porting over old titles and creating new properties for mobile devices. The quality of slot machines and table games rivals anything we see in Flash based casinos.
In addition to straight casino games, we are now seeing networked internet poker from industry giants like PokerStars being offered on smartphones and tablets. These games are interconnected with PC connected games, and offer all of the features and tournaments one would expect. Furthermore, we are starting to see the adoption of mobile live dealer games on these devices, in which a real live dealt game is transmitted in real time to punters in a different location.
The market is maturing at a rapid pace, and is poised to become the leading source of gambling revenues in the upcoming years. But what does the future hold?
That question is one of partial uncertainty. The gambling industry is always looking for the next big thing, and future developments in the market are tied to what is being released in the mobile phone market. With that being said, we do know that smartphones are only going to get faster and better. That means that mobile gambling features will continue to get better; and that will only draw in more punters.
Where do you see the future of mobile gambling going? What are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments section below.