Casinos for youAt some stage, it seemed like casino apps were the make-or-break factor for iGaming operators. But, a decade after the fact, technology once more unexpectedly changed the gambling landscape.
As technological improvements led to better mobile phones and the remote gambling industry recognised the potential of completely mobile casinos, many dived into the mobile app world. When these casino apps first appeared, the absence or presence of one soon dictated whether an online operator was serious about business.
Although the popularity of mobile gambling has increased tremendously over the last few years, we can't say the same about casino app usage. Smartphones, HTML5, and improved connectivity on a global scale had unexpected effects on user preference, opposing some forecasts for gambling apps.
Let's unwrap how browser-based casinos surged in popularity and what this means for downloadable casino apps.
The Rise (and Fall) of Casino Apps
Research studies found that in 2022 approximately 83% of the world's population own a smartphone, and experts estimate that by 2025, 72% of all internet users will solely access the web through a smartphone. Although these numbers steadily increased over the last 5 years, mobile device and design technology have improved substantially since 2017.
Shortly after Apple introduced the iPhone and the App Store, casino game apps also made an appearance. With Google following in Apple's footsteps, it was inevitable that all leading operators would introduce their own mobile app casino solution. With a downloadable casino app, players had their favourite gambling games at their fingertips.
Casino apps seemed like the natural evolution for the iGaming industry, and many top-tier gambling companies invested in one. More than a decade later, we find it interesting that the popularity of casino apps diminished as time progressed.
What Replaced Casino Apps?
As all smartphone users have come to learn, mobile apps have up and downsides and casino apps are no exception. The advantage of gambling on an app includes easy access through one click, high-quality graphics, and a customised experience from the provider. On the downside, apps sometimes have bugs that affect their functionality; apps need to be updated routinely, and apps consume storage on the device, which leads to processing lags.
These factors soon had to compete with in-browser casino sites created in HTML5, which makes it fully compatible with mobile phones. Add to this the improvement of internet connectivity, and online gamblers have an on-the-go browser experience with top graphics that don't take up any space on their device.
Once players discovered the seamless use of online mobile-ready casinos, apps fell by the wayside.
The Future of Remote Gambling
Many leading operators still give players a choice between an installed app or in-browser lobbies, but the likelihood of apps taking the lead seems relatively low. The choice between an online casino and an app-based casino comes down to preference and network resources.
The ease of access that 4G, 5G, and HTML5 introduced to the digital era continuously drives smartphone adoption, and casino apps may one day go the way of the dodo.
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