Categories: General Web
Online gambling has evolved into a big business, with online sportsbook, casinos, and poker rooms taking in an estimated $40 billion every year in revenues from millions of customers. While players have been able to play internet blackjack, poker, and other casino games online for real money since the late 1990s, it was really only in 2003-2004 when the popularity truly caught on, fueling a wave of innovations that has turned the simple games of yore into much more complex games.
One of the biggest recent developments is the rise of mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads, which have the potential to open up online gaming to a much wider audience. To date most of the customers of online poker and casino sites had to dig a bit to find a game, with many seeing advertisements on television for sites such as Full Tilt or PokerStars and then logging on to give it a whirl. While that model worked, it takes a dedicated fan to not just find and download the software but to make the leap of faith and use their credit card or bank account to deposit money at online sites.
As apps and games for mobile devices become more common, though, many of those barriers are falling. Apple currently has a strict policy with its AppStore as far as approving very few games that allow for real money play (and the few that have been approved are for non-US customers only) but many feel that it’s only a matter of time before more and more people are playing poker or online slots for real money on most popular mobile devices and platforms. Popular apps and games get exposure to millions of potential new customers via the App Store and Android Market, so it’s very likely that a whole new generation of gambling fans may soon find their way to online gaming sites.
While security is still a concern for many online gambling companies, more and more banks and other traditional financial services firms are putting their full faith behind mobile apps, unveiling applications that not only let you check your account balances but also scan and deposit checks and pay for goods with a flick of your iPhone. The trend of putting more and more trust into mobile apps (coupled with better security and technology underpinning them) could be a boon for the online gambling industry as well, with less hesitation from customers to bet and wager at online sites.