New figures released by the Gambling Commission show that the amount of bets placed in the traditional local bookmaker is on the wane. Now 33% of all gambling is done online and, despite what the high street in your local town might look like, the report shows that there’s been a 1.8% decrease in betting shops. This despite the fact that “real” gambling apps aren’t allowed in app stores such as Google Play, even though many risk-free casino apps are.
Indeed, as with a lot of regular shops, people are going online instead. The ease and speed of ordering something or placing an order to a new coat or the weekly shop is definitely the preferred option, especially when compared to the parking charges, traffic and hassle of actually going to a shop in person. The same, it seems, is happening to the local bookies, and there’s a marked increase in the amount of people using their smartphones and tablets instead.
But what else can explain this increase? Are we seeing an increase of gamblers and gamers, playing casino and slots games? Are people heading to their smartphone and staying for longer?
Well, perhaps not. If we look at smartphone apps there’s perhaps another reason why. In recent figures, it was revealed that most smartphone owners in the US actually don’t download any apps at all in a typical month. The comScore data shows that 65.5% don’t bother downloading anything.
The trend, it seems, is to download the ultra-popular apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and then spend a large proportion of screen time using them. The report shows that “a staggering 42% of all app time spent on smartphones occurs on the individual’s single most used app”.
For reasons that are unclear, it seems that a lot of mobile users aren’t actively searching for additional apps to install. This could be due to new apps not being made apparent, an unwillingness to “bog down” your phone, or perhaps websites working far better on mobile devices.
Yes, the days of clunky desktop sites is over. Instead we have designers making sites for “mobile first” which carry all the same functionality of the desktop versions. Also a lot of apps still don’t have the full functionality of a website, with banking apps such as PayPal still not delivering all the functions available on the web version of the site.
A preference, perhaps, to use the fast HTML5 websites that are now flying across our mobile screens means that people now only need bookmarks rather than app downloads and clutter.
So, with the full-fat functionality available on your smartphone screen, why download an app? You can instead place a bet on a website, check the latest odds and even watch live footage without having to deal with a Google Play telling you what you can and can’t download.