If you thought it was convenient to play blackjack online 24/7 at home, just wait till you try mobile gambling. The mobile casino is the next logical step in the online casino industry, bringing your favorite online games right to your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone. There are even a few older model phones that support mobile gaming, but for the most part, it's geared toward today's smart phones.
Mobile web casinos mean that you can play wherever you can get a 3G connection. Until recently, it was a big enough deal that you could gamble any time using your computer at home, but now you can pretty much gamble anywhere as well. There are three basic approaches to using your mobile device for online wagering: using the mobile version of the site itself; using an iPhone app; or using an Android app.
In many cases, you can use your smart phone simply by going to the mobile version of your favorite casino's website. If it doesn't already have a mobile version, it probably will soon: the market is just too lucrative to ignore. You would play on your handheld device just as you would on your computer at home. Everything's smaller, but you have access to the same games, same prizes, and same bonuses.
iPhone apps are slow in coming, though they do exist. The UK's Betfair, Ireland's Paddy Power, and Austria's Bwin are three European sites that offer iPhone betting apps specific to their sites. Betfair and Paddy Power apps work only in the UK and Ireland, while Bwin's only works in the UK and Austria, as of late 2010, though other countries are expected to be added rapidly.
Android mobile casino apps look like they will be more abundant, due to the non-proprietary nature of the Android operating system and the growing popularity of Android phones in Europe. The Irish Betdaq is staking its fortunes on Android apps, on the belief that while the iPhone has fueled the expansion of smart mobile devices in general, Androids may be the better long-term option, not least because getting an app approved for the iPhone Apps store is not easy.
There is little doubt about the future of mobile gambling. While currently only about 5% of the bets placed online are done on mobile devices, this number is expected to rocket to more like 50% over the next three to five years. A recent survey by Juniper Research on mobile gaming markets shows that mobile casinos are expanding rapidly, and could see mobile wagers exceeding $48 billion by the year 2015!
For the most part, the most popular games on mobile devices mirror the most popular games in internet gambling in general: slots, poker, and blackjack. An Android app titled "Video Poker," which is not a web casino game, did not take long to garner 50,000 downloads. Another non-casino game, "Cherry Slot Machine," is a free Android app and is also one of the top Android gaming apps. Clearly there is a hunger for these games, and it's just a matter of time before online casinos embrace mobile casino apps en masse.