The world of mobile apps is constantly delivering new forms of entertainment. Sometimes it’s a viral game, such as the 2020 puzzle hit Best Fiends, or in past years games like Clash of Clans or Pokémon GO. Sometimes, it’s a social networking phenomenon, like the video clip app Tik Tok that has taken the world by storm of late. And sometimes, it’s a new streaming option, such as the HBO Max app that was released this week.
It’s rare, however, that a whole new type of entertainment becomes popular in the mobile realm. Yet that’s exactly what we think could happen with regard to high-end casino apps. To be clear, apps in this category already exist all around the world. Most anyone can play a just-for-fun card or slot game, and in some places, real money can be wagered in the process. What we envision, though, is a boom in professional, real-money casino gaming apps for the modern era. This appears likely for a few reasons:
Expansion in the existing market
For a number of years, there were only three states in which Americans could access online casinos: Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey. Each one had different offerings and select restrictions, but together they comprised the whole of the United States’ real-money online gaming scene. This, however, is no longer the case; Pennsylvania has entered the fray. A number of casino activities are now available online in this state as well, with top games and jackpots from the slot genre standing out as particularly busy highlights. These games attract an immensely high volume of play, and while platforms aren’t entirely standardized, many of the games are the same ones people will find online in other states. Simply put, online casino gaming has spread to a new state, with accompanying mobile options. And there could be more states on the way.
The coming AR/VR tech
In our piece looking at the future of apps, we spoke to the potential of augmented and virtual reality. We expect both AR and VR to become more prominent in the mobile universe, as phones gain more power to support the technologies, and new experiences are designed. This will have ramifications across all sorts of mobile functions, but we should certainly consider online casino gaming among them. Right now, an engaging, high-end casino game on a mobile phone can be a great deal of fun. You can play online poker against live opponents, enjoy a slot game with animated characters, and so on. But in AR or VR, these games could be all the more engaging, potentially to the point of giving you the sensation of stepping into an actual, live casino. It’s an opportunity that devs aren’t going to miss, whether or not real money is actually involved.
The cryptocurrency option
The next wave of mobile casinos may also have a bit of an ace up its sleeve in the form of cryptocurrency. Right now, the reason we do not already see an explosion of new-age casino apps is simple: Most states still won’t allow real gambling, and gamers’ interest in artificial games is limited. Cryptocurrency, however, could bridge the divide. There are potential perks of crypto gambling that are already discussed fairly often. Basically, they come down to high-speed transactions and anonymity. However, it’s possible (though not certain) that certain crypto options could also allow for mobile gambling with real wealth — but not real money. Cryptos could thus drive a boom in gambling that current legislation wouldn’t necessarily be able to stop. Given these existing and potential developments — state expansion, new technology, and the crypto possibilities — we would expect to see a whole new class of sophisticated casino gaming apps emerging over the course of the next five years.