Gaming Trends Shift as Mobile Casino Usage Increases

Mobile casino gaming has reached record levels, prompting anti-gambling advocates to brand them as potentially destructive as fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

Mobile casino app usage up

A new report shows that mobile casino app usage is on the up but the reality may not be as bad as critics suggest. (Image: CrazyleafDesign)

According to a recent report published by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), more than 1.6 million Britons bet via their mobiles. Supporting the latest statistics, the regulator’s Gambling Participation in 2018 summary shows that 55 percent of gamers have gambled on their smartphone or tablet.

More Mobile Casino Gamers than Ever

Expanding on the findings, the research shows that 44 percent of gamers regularly use mobile casino apps. As well as being double what it was four years ago, that’s just 1 percent less than the number of people playing via their laptop.

Responding to the findings, campaigners have told the Daily Mail that the statistics are a sign of regulators and operators failing to adapt to modern trends.

“For people psychologically disposed to addictive behaviours, this means an outlet for that is now just a tap away.” Professor Richard Tunney, head of psychology at Aston University, told the newspaper.

Although the level of unrest isn’t as severe as it was during the 2018 FOBT debate, anti-gambling advocates believe changes need to be made.

However, what those focused on increased regulation have overlooked is the rise of mobile gaming in all areas. Newzoo’s 2018 Global Gaming report shows that mobiles now account for 51 percent of all gaming revenue.

Mobiles Replacing Laptops

With 25 percent year-on-year growth, smartphones and tablets now dominate the industry. In tandem with the increase in mobile gaming, usage of desktop and console devices has decreased.

The same is true in the casino gaming sector. Although more people now use mobile casino apps, fewer people are using their laptops.

As per the UKGC’s report, desktop betting fell 5 percent between 2017 and 2018. So, while more people are using their mobiles, it’s simply the case that these devices are replacing traditional methods.

What’s more, responsible gambling innovations are now spreading into the mobile arena. In December 2018, Barclays announced a new merchant control feature.

Programmed into its mobile app, the software allows users to restrict deposits to various sectors, including casino gaming. Therefore, while the knives may be out for the gaming industry, the rise of mobile gaming may not be as much of an issue as it appears.

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