It’s true to say that smartphones affect and influence this generation across all aspects of their lives.
From renting a film, to waving to your family in another country, ordering a pizza or booking a round-the-world plane ticket – the smartphone has made all of this possible from the palm of your hand. Gambling has been around for many centuries – the 1st official casino started in Italy in 1638 – and just like the rest of society across the globe, smartphones are having a very big say. So let’s look at how smartphones are influencing this generation’s gambling habits.
Sport and gambling are inexplicably linked in the UK. At the start of the 2018/19 football season, an incredible 17 of 24 Championship sides were sponsored by gambling firms. This is not something exclusive to football. For example in 2017, the Jockey Club confirmed that it had extended its sponsorship deal with Betfair for their 15x racecourses around the UK. Going back a decade, these sponsorship deals were only really relevant for the armchair punters who could reach for their phone or log-on to their gambling website from the comfort of their own home. But nowadays, with a smartphone you are in a position where you can bet on whatever sport from wherever you are – at the match or on your journey to the stadium.
However, it’s not just the accessibility of a gambling app which makes it easier. You also have access to all the statistics, form and guides on your smartphone. Sometimes you’ll have to go on a website, sometimes it will all be ready for you in a handy app, but wherever on your smartphone it is, the knowledge is easily accessible.
Smartphones also mean group messaging. Think of the journey of the old gambling syndicate. Communication was the key, but it can now be done within seconds across a group resulting in a quick-fire in-play bet!
Moving into the online casino world, the smartphone of 2018 enables you to have access to everything that you would dream of in your ultimate super casino. The world of Android based online casino games means the thrills of those real world casinos are readily accessible. Even going back only a few years, the smartphone experience wasn’t up there with what you would see and feel in the real casino. Nowadays the sounds, interactions with other players and even a beautiful croupier can be arranged at your table on your smartphone.
Arguably the biggest influence of the smartphone has been the inability for people to switch off. Whereas you used to get lost in your thoughts waiting for a bus or have a quick snooze on the tram, thanks to the smartphone you now have access to a game of poker if you’re feeling lucky, highlights from last night’s sports game if you missed it, or a podcast on the latest political happenings if you can really stomach it. From a gambling perspective, this has taken away the need for physical and human interaction; you no longer need to walk into a high street or phone up a bookmaker – you can do it all whilst sipping a pint waiting for your mate to arrive (late again) in your local.
As with all things, it’s important to gamble responsibly and in moderation. Betting firms have shown increasing awareness of this and should be commended for including warnings and offering real time advice through their apps.
And finally, something which hasn’t changed gambling habits with the introduction of smartphones. Men still gamble more than women – 66% of all men versus 59% of all women in the UK. But it’s close: what are the odds that we’ll see a draw in the not too distant future?