The evolution of mobile casino apps

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Today, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to mobile casino apps.  If you’ve started enjoying mobile casino games in the last few years, you may not know how it all began.   Things weren’t this great just 6 years ago!

This piece takes a look at how we got where we are today on the mobile casino apps front and what we are likely to see over the next few years.

History

The first mobile casino apps were seen on the first generation of Nokia phones following the introduction of Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). WAP allowed game makers to collect payment by SMS or WAP Push but there was no way to use real money in playing casino games on downloaded apps. People were only able to pay for the app before downloading.

The launch of iOS and Android on mobile, in 2007/2008 lead to a sharp market growth. The opening of the App store in July 2008 and Google Play in 2009 (known as Android Market at the time) changed mobile gaming forever. Game developers were now able to sell games directly to consumers instead of having to deal with phone manufacturers and mobile network operators. Google Play had a major role because it can be accessed by any device running Android.  Texas Hold’em was one of the most downloaded paid apps 5 hours into the launch of the App Store demonstrating how the mobile casino app market was influenced by the new ecosystem.

Mobile sites including Fruity Casino, one of the most popular phone casino, flooded the web and fast-forwarded to this day, you are almost always spoilt for choice regardless of what kind of mobile casino games you might be looking for.

Real money mobile casinos haven’t been left out either. There are so many of them. Even the mobile casino apps marketed as free, have the option of using real money as they all feature secure payment methods which can allow players to use and win real money in games.

The role of appetite in the mobile casino app growth

The thirst for online (and hence mobile) casino gaming can be traced back to the early 1990s when personal computers went mainstream. With the computers came the first online casino known as Gaming Club which was launched in 1994. The target audience loved it and by the early 2000s, there were more than 200 of such in the market. Today, there are hundreds of operators around the globe. The UK and Malta’s regulatory bodies, for example, handle over 1000 between them.  It is safe to say that the existing appetite for online casino games helped ensure that mobile casino apps caught on pretty quickly.

The Present

Although the App Store rules prohibit money gambling games, there are lots of social casinos with apps these days.  They have been able to attract a completely new demographic of players by allowing them to buy and play with virtual chips, engage with friends and other players on social media, play live with others, join competitions and so on. The mobile casino app scene is more robust than ever.

The future

Augmented reality is the big thing now so we expect to see casino games taking advantage of it.  We also expect users of mobile casino apps to grow even further!

As more people around the globe gain access to smartphones, it is hard to see a stall in the evolution of mobile casino games.

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  • Aaron Lowe

    Growth of mobile (and merging platforms) casino game will flatten out soon as more countries move to control who plays the games and how much tax operators will pay to serve real money games. Also, I see the demarcation of f2p and real money games being more clearly defined in order to protect the young and vulnerable embarking on the slippery slope that is gambling addiction.

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