What is it that makes gambling such a lucrative business?

The rise and rise of gambling apps and gambling features in the Android Google Play of iPhone iTunes store got me thinking. There’s so many of them, and you have to ask yourself, “How are all these apps paying for themselves?”

After all, there’s usually no in-app adverts on these types of apps and yet, despite the immense competition, there’s more and more popping up on a daily basis.

This the first online bet in 1996, online sports betting and online gambling has never looked back. It’s now a business that continues to grow each year. The leap to mobile phones became an inevitable step for the industry, especially with more than half of the world’s population owning a mobile phone and most consumers spending more than five hours a day on their smartphones.

Mobile gambling skyrocketed to fame in 2011 when Apple started accepting gambling apps on the Apple Store for iPhones and iPads. In 2017, Google Play followed suit by starting an approval process for gambling apps on the Play Store. This really lifted the popularity and the acceptance of these apps.

Now at least 50% of online gambling websites are already mobile-friendly and offer access to almost every game you want to play, whether you’re browsing using a tablet or smartphone. But why exactly is mobile gambling such a lucrative business?

Whether you’re stuck in traffic, waiting for a delayed flight or just simply bored at home, it’s extremely easy to get into these mobile casinos from your smartphone. Instead of just staring blankly at the walls, people are filling the time with colourful games.

Add to that the fact that the line between games and gambling is blurring somewhat. My wife plays a highly addictive “bubble popping” game which is very close to what the gambling apps provide, so it’s hard sometimes to see much of a difference between an addictive game and a gambling app. As an example of this – only one of the images on this page is from an actual gambling app. The others are from standard games.

In the “old days” you’d have to visit a bookmaker in the high street, or you’d have to drive to a casino. There was a fairly big effort involved and you’d have to plan it all in advance. Now, though, it’s just a matter of reaching into your pocket. You get a very similar experience – even live dealers via a video feed – and you get that instant response. No need to queue to put on a cheeky bet for the Chelsea match. No need to catch a bus and take some money out. Now it’s just a quick 5 second press on your phone and you’re done. It’s that convenience and that instant response that really pushes the popularity up.

Add to that the fact that, because the industry is so competitive, there’s always bonuses, perks and sign-up rewards for potential new customers. If you sign up for their mobile games or for a new account, they’ll either give you free money or match your stake. It’s all to attract you in – to pull you into the gaming experience.

With 50% of casino players and 72% of online sports betting users using mobile books and apps, it’s no surprise that mobile gambling is growing immensely every day. New developments such as mobile play, virtual reality gambling and live dealer games also make the industry more lucrative to gamblers from every part of the world. And with mobile phone users projected to surpass the five billion mark this year and more legislation being passed to legalise online gambling in many countries, these numbers will definitely keep on increasing.