The mobile gambling game is a new form of gambling that enables people to play games on their smartphones. These games use the power of a smartphone to deliver high-definition graphics and immersive gameplay. As a result, they offer a premium experience and are growing in popularity. However, some concerns about these games have been raised, including the potential for addiction. Currently, research on mobile gambling has been limited to self-reports and observations of participants’ behaviour in laboratory settings. In this article, we report the results of a study that examined how players interacted with a simulated gambling app on their smartphones. The experiment used a behavioural economic design to observe participants’ responses to a monetary incentive, and measured their persistence in the face of losses using a pre-programmed extinction period of unavoidable loss. Participants were also asked to complete a series of questionnaires and a computerised contingency judgement task that probed the illusion of control, an important cognitive bias in gambling. Contextual data, such as location and other app usage was recorded through GPS, and behavioural responses to the app were measured by a combination of touch and tap on the phone screen.
A growing number of casinos have optimized their websites to work well on mobile devices, and most of these sites are available as apps that can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Some casino software providers have even gone a step further and created their own apps that allow players to access their games, in-app features, and exclusive bonuses.
While a growing number of people are turning to mobile gaming, there is still a significant portion that prefers to visit an online casino on their phone or tablet. These online casinos are available as both apps and responsive versions that work in your mobile browser. Some of the best online casinos have opted for the latter, which eliminates the need to download an app and allows them to make their games compatible with all major mobile operating systems.
Gambling apps come in two basic flavors: paid games and free-to-play (or “freemium”) games. Paid games require that you pay a single, upfront fee to use them. The largest category of smartphone apps, however, are free-to-play, with a multibillion dollar industry based on in-app purchases. Many of these are games that you can play for free, but the ability to advance past a certain point or unlock more difficult levels requires paying real money.
The app market for mobile gaming is complex and changing quickly. For example, Apple changed the rules for publishing games to their App Store in 2019, requiring developers to use native iOS code. This makes developing a gambling app more time consuming and costly. In addition, both Apple and Google Play have restrictions that limit the countries in which their users can download applications. Despite these challenges, it is likely that most mobile gamers will continue to use gambling apps.