Worth $45 billion in 2019 and is only growing since then, online casinos are one of the most successful industries now operating within the digital space. Existing since the popularisation of the internet around the turn of the new millennium, these casinos have undergone constant and significant evolution over the decades. At first, this started as a simple move towards better-looking and more accurate representations of the physical casino market. With the arrival and eventual ubiquity of mobile phones, however, the market underwent a massive redesign, in a move that continues to this day.
A Matter of Accessibility
The move towards mobile devices has been popular, but that doesn’t mean the coupling was entirely an intentional one. Rather, how well casino games fit mobile systems was more incidental, where it accidentally became a far better combination than anyone intended.
For a better understanding of why this is, consider the current state of the casino game industry. Here, this type of casino is optimized to scale to different systems, whether phone, tablet, desktop, laptop, or anything else. Each type of system has access to the same bonuses and game selection, and each benefits from the same level of high security and standards of quality.
As for what drove the contemporary market to these heights, that would be how online casino games operate. Both in terms of control and session length, mobiles became a near-perfect fit, which users of mobile devices quickly understood. For controls, one of the main issues that players have with phones is the inaccuracy and cramped nature of action-heavy titles. With such simple controls, online casinos didn’t have this problem, where they played just as well on mobiles as on any other devices.
Session length came into play because of how flexible casino games are, and how well that fits with the mobile gaming ethos. Mobile gaming excels in offering experiences that can be jumped in and out of freely, depending on a player’s free time. Since this is also a major strength of how online casino games play, the combination was practically destined for success.
The Changing Software Market
As for what made change possible on a technical scale, that was more the result of a move away from Macromedia’s tools like Flash and Director. A long-time mainstay in the landscape of online interactive entertainment, Flash was great for PC, but it had issues with other systems. This served as an inhibiting factor for mobiles but was soon overcome with a change towards newer technologies.
Approaching the end of the 2010s, websites and services were increasingly abandoning Flash as a base, as they embraced more reliable and flexible HTML5. This move was a great one for mobiles, as it allowed them vastly improved access, while also ensuring a high level of game performance.
As of the start of the 2020s, online casinos are looking to experience their best decade yet. With massive rates of international adoption and growing integration with mobile devices, the industry is experiencing record levels of engagement each year. While it’s only natural that the casino market will eventually plateau, so far there’s been no sign of slowing down anytime soon, and mobile phones have played a big part in developing this market to the scale it enjoys today.