By Oscar Salazar
How have smartphones changed the online gambling industry and the way we gamble?
Cell phones have evolved exponentially since they were first introduced to the public in the 1990s from a simple device used to make phone calls to a fully-fledged handheld computer otherwise known as a mobile device. Today, billions of people around the world have a mobile device and they’ve become an integral part of people’s lives. Mobile devices are portable and light and can be just as powerful as desktop or laptop computers. They’re used to connect us with both people, information and other smart technology, they allow us to work remotely from home or on the go, they entertain us and they do practically everything else in between.
The online gambling industry debuted around about the same time as cell phones did in the 1990s, but few could have foreseen then the power couple that they’d become in the 2000s, thus revolutionising how the gambling industry is viewed and how we play and gamble at the same time.
In the mid-2000s, smartphones were introduced to the public and instantly changed the world forevermore. They tipped the world off its axis, charting a new path for civilisation towards a future that was unimaginable just a few decades before. And ever since the advent of smartphones, innovation has only picked up pace, pushing the boundaries of imagination and the realms of possibility.
Industries have had to adapt to the little device otherwise they’d have risked being made redundant. One of the quickest industries on the uptake, experiencing the greatest transformation since the smartphone’s introduction, is the gambling industry. And thanks to their adaptability, tapping into innovation and technology, the gambling industry has enjoyed unparalleled success and growth over the last two decades. What’s more, the growth is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.
On the contrary, it’s growing at a faster clip than previously predicted, thanks to an unexpected boost few could have foreseen in the form of a global public health crisis. The gambling industry cashed in HUGE on the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic that rocked the world and shuttered most industries and brick-and-mortar retailers for extended periods since March 2020, when the World Health Organization declared the world was facing an extraordinary global pandemic.
The very manner in which smartphones revolutionized the gambling industry is behind one of its success against the backdrop of a global pandemic.
So, how have smartphones revolutionized the gambling industry? We’re going to have a look in this column at some of the key impacts of smartphone technology on the industry. Let’s have a look…
Another Level To Ease of Access
Smartphones have made betting easier and even more convenient to bet on sports no matter where a person is. Online gambling was already popular because it allowed bettors to get in on the action from the comfort of their own homes, but smartphones have taken it up another level. They’re increasingly replacing desktops and laptop computers because they allow bettors to get in on the action from anywhere and everywhere – be it from the comfort of their own home or on the go. So, whether bettors are looking at betting odds or to play virtual casino games, smartphones make it much easier to do what they want. Everything is at their fingertips, including live offers, up-to-date odds and live betting lines
Live betting lines are real time information for sports fans and act as an invaluable up-to-date source of information. Sports betting odds are fluid, the ebb and flow determined by many variables – team and player news, injury reports, weather, public betting trends and so on. Therefore, odds can and will fluctuate all the time and up to game time. In the morning, the odds for a certain game, match, event… might have looked one way but closer to time the odds might have changed slightly or dramatically. With a smartphone, bettors can stay abreast of all and any market changes in order to place the bet that they feel the most comfortable with.
Bonuses and More Offers
Bonuses and other offers and rewards set apart online sports betting sites and casinos from the brick-and-mortar bookmakers and casinos. Thus, giving them a competitive edge as they try to lure gamblers away from these traditional gambling outlets. The ease of access that smartphones provide goes both ways: gamblers can access gambling sites directly from a phone, via mobile apps or mobile-friendly websites, while gambling sites by that same token can reach out to their customer base with similar ease, using text messages, SMS, email or in-app notifications to alert users to various bonuses and promotions in real-time.
The unrestricted access that gambling websites have to their customer base is critical to marketing initiatives that are designed to keep customers engaged, such as bonuses and other offers and rewards. Typically, these will come with calls to action, prompting bettors to react instantly before they expire. Some gambling websites offer standalone mobile offers which can only be accessed with smartphones, thus providing incentive to download apps or to access the site using mobile-friendly websites.
Safety and Convenience
Carrying wads of cash is never safe or recommended, and having to go to the bank to make withdrawals in order to dabble in some gambling activity – be it betting on sports or casino – can be a hassle for many whose day-to-day lives are already busy enough. With the advent of smartphone banking and apps such as Apple pay, Paypal and other pay-by-phone apps, funding online gambling activities couldn’t be more safe or convenient, not to mention instantaneous.