The online casino industry has only existed for 25 years or so, but in that quarter of a century, it has experienced a number of evolutions. Not only does the industry look decidedly different than it did 20 and even 10 years ago, but even in the last year or 2 there have been some very noticeable changes.
In the next year or two, the industry is projected to make even more notable changes, the biggest of which will result from the large-scale switch from downloadable casinos to web-based ones. But why is this change happening and what will it mean for the industry?
What are the Issues with Downloadable Casino Applications?
If you’re over the age of 40, there’s a good chance you will remember just how bad the early days of online gambling were. In fact, even if you were a minor during these formative years and couldn’t play casino games, you will no doubt remember the incessant way that casinos were advertised, from throwing pop-ups in your face to tricking you into downloading software.
In those days, there were no instant play casinos and if you wanted to play, you had to download the software onto your desktop, and that meant you had to take a chance with malware, viruses, and god-knows-what else the casino or the affiliate had added to the mix.
When the technology improved and casinos became more popular, the instant play was introduced and downloadable software became a thing of the past. But this didn’t last, as the mobile revolution ushered in the age of the casino app, and downloads became common once more.
This is not the late 90s or the early 2000s, so those downloads are not as troublesome as they once were, but they are still not without issue. On the one hand, they take some stress off the casinos’ servers and allow the games to play that little bit quicker and smoother, especially on slower devices and poorer connections, but the following issues also present with these downloads:
- App Store Problems: The online gambling industry is huge in Europe, Asia, and Australia, and it also has a growing following in Africa and South America. However, the same can’t be said for North America, and the US in particular. However, this is where companies like Google and Apple are based, which is why gambling companies have had so many issues with their iOS and Android apps. Many of these have been banned from the app stores, while others have run into restrictions.
- Safety Issues: Your safety on online casinos is only as good as your device. The best passwords in the world won’t count for much if you lose your phone and don’t have a passcode on it. With web-based casinos, you’ll be logged out and no sensitive data will be stored on your phone, so you won’t have anything to worry about.
- Speed: Consumers are obsessed with speed and convenience these days. How many times have you gotten frustrated with a website just because the page took a few seconds to download? 20 years ago, a few seconds was incredibly quick—today, it’s painfully slow. Companies understand that the more you ask of a customer and the longer the process takes, the more likely they are to walk away. Give them instant access to casino games via their mobile devices, as they want to play and you won’t have this issue.
- Compatibility: A lot of work goes into creating a native casino app, and it also has to be compatible with both Android and iOS devices. With web-based casinos, none of this is necessary. As long as it works through major web browsers, everyone can play, regardless of the age of their device or the platform it uses.
Why are Web Casinos the Better Option?
Avoiding casino apps may seem like a reckless move when you consider that it will discourage a substantial portion of the online casino market. There are many smartphone owners out there that only use apps and don’t even seem to acknowledge that they have access to search engines and URL bars.
However, these are in the minority and can be convinced to change tact with a few emails and redirects. On the flip side, there is a large number of users who have old phones or different platforms and, as a result, are not able to download casino apps.
By focusing on web-based software, casinos can appeal to these players, and ensure that whether you’re playing on the latest Samsung Galaxy Phone or an outdated Windows device, you can still join in.
The technology that allows you to play through the web is also much better than it was a few years ago. In the recent past, casino developers had to rely on Flash, which had many limitations, caused endless problems, and frustrated everyone. These days, it is all about HTML5, which is a much more advanced platform that gives creators complete freedom and control.
Conclusion: When Will We Switch?
Many new online casinos are already skipping the process of developing casino applications and are instead focusing all their attention on their web-based casino apps. In other words, the change is already happening and before long, new casinos won’t have apps available for Google or Apple devices.
It takes a lot of weight off the casino’s shoulders, and ultimately makes life easier for players. If you’re still using apps and have a fondness for them, don’t worry, as major casino apps will likely remain for the foreseeable future, before being phased out eventually.