Understanding Apps for Social and Mobile Casinos
Online gambling sites have always embraced new technology, and nowhere is this more obvious than the apps of mobile casinos, including social sites. With more people than ever owning smartphones, iPhone and Android casinos might end up becoming the biggest share of the market.
The Rise of Mobile Casinos
Because so many people have smartphones and tablets these days, most online betting sites are full-blown mobile casinos, entirely compatible with various devices using Apple, Android and other platforms. They offer just about every game for mobile, and the same type of bonuses players accessing via desktop can enjoy. Mobile players find these offers useful when getting started at the best mobile casinos, with promotions providing a quick head start in the form of free spins, free cash, or no deposit bonuses.
Software developers are just as cognizant of the mobile market, and the majority now ensure every game is functional with mobile platforms from the design phase onwards. The top mobile casinos thus offer a comprehensive experience, with apps enhancing the navigation and providing a wide range of games, plus all the convenience of being able to play on the go.
The vast majority (96%) of Americans now own mobile phones of some variety, and more than four in five (81%) have smartphones. This makes the market for social and mobile casinos very large indeed, and that’s before we get to the fact that half of Americans have tablets. In fact, about one in five only use their smartphone to access the internet. There are similar stats for comparable nations, with over 80% of Britons possessing smartphones as of 2018.
By the end of 2020, total mobile revenue is estimated to reach $669bn, making it clear what a massive market for online casinos the sector is. It’s because of this that the best mobile casinos and software developers have already optimized for the varying screen sizes (tablets, of course, counting as well) and making slots, table games, and live dealer options readily accessible via apps.
What are Social Casinos?
Gambling generally has been on the rise for years, with the industry as a whole worth more than $400bn (with over $50bn of that online). More than a quarter (26%) of the population gambles, more than one and a half billion people around the world.
Not including lotteries, one in three Britons are likely to have gambled within a given month. Interestingly, the majority of bets in the UK are made by either smartphone or a laptop.
So far, so expected. But the story takes an unexpected twist when we look at the phenomenon of the rising popularity of social casinos. These are sites that involve games of chance, but not cash prizes, which would seem, at first glance, to be the whole reason people play at mobile casinos. But as the video game industry has also learned, for some, the experience, the grind, matters more than the money.
On a global scale, social casino games are worth more than $4bn in revenue, with the vast majority of this coming from the mobile app sector ($3.9bn, compared to $412m from Facebook/the internet).
Traditional casino players will recognize plenty of the games available at these social casinos. But the social aspect has been kicked up a notch, with an almost video game feel to the leader boards, and continually updated approach to the challenges and milestones that exist to keep players interested.
They’re more about having a chinwag with friends and enjoying the games than trying to make a profit (indeed, making a profit is literally impossible).
A major advantage of social casinos is that you can play them for free or very low cost. If you’re unsure of trying out online slots and other games, or you just don’t want to actually gamble, they’re a great and increasingly popular alternative. ‘Real’ online casinos do provide the chance to finish in profit, though, and have a wider range of games.
The apps associated with mobile social casinos are, correspondingly, focused on the human interaction aspect. In this way, social casinos are a kind of fusion between social media and mobile casinos, providing a more light-hearted take on games of chance, with an emphasis on communication. Registrations usually comes with free chips, and there’s no prospect of taking home a million bucks (or even one) as a jackpot.
The social side also plays directly into mobile use, as people often fiddle with their smartphones during ad breaks whilst watching TV, and the combination of interaction and games is pretty alluring.
Both online and social casinos frequently offer their own apps, including major multi-software sites such as Mr Green, 888, House of Fun and more, as do some software developers. NetEnt, one of the big beasts when it comes to creating software, has the NetEnt Touch app which works for Android, iOS, and Windows. As an aside, NetEnt’s also at the cutting edge when it comes to VR, with its huge hits Gonzo’s Quest and Starburst both making use of the technology. Although baby steps are being taken, it’s not hard to see VR becoming a bigger deal at online casinos. It could be a natural fit for table games and improve the social casino interactivity even more.
Casino apps nowadays tend to offer a comprehensive range of games, perhaps not quite 100% of an online gambling site’s product suite but a very high percentage nevertheless. Apart from needing the time/space to install the app there aren’t many downsides, with graphics being enhanced and navigation streamlined for the mobile experience. Plus you can still make use of casino bonuses if you’re playing at a betting site.
Social and mobile casino apps are primarily downloaded for the iOS and Android operating systems, these OS being the dominant two in the mobile market by a long way. It’s often possible to purchase new virtual currency for money at social casinos (this being a one-way transaction), although newly registering players may be given free virtual currency to get them started. Apps streamline the experience and players can enjoy taking on weekly or monthly challenges and other special offers to try and beat the competition, and perhaps get a reward. Or you can just try and level up faster than your friends. And if you’re using an app at a mobile casino then you’re likely to be able to scoop up free spins or other promotions.