According to a recent study by research house Juniper, approximately 63 million unique users worldwide gambled online from their mobile devices in 2013. That number is predicted to grow by about 100 million in 2018, and the largest increase will be seen in North America. Internet gambling popularity is growing exponentially, and the use of mobile devices is the main booster.
Blogger and columnist, Bill Snyder, contemplates on the issue and points out that the trend is worrisome. The problem is not just in online gambling, but the availability and accessibility of mobile gambling.
Gambling is a spontaneous move characteristic of people prone to addiction. Every time a person feels an urge to gamble and is limited to having to get to the workstation and fixed Internet to make a bet, or buy a lottery ticket, there may arise a number of circumstances which can prevent him from doing so. On the other hand, a smartphone or an iPhone is always handy, always available, has your banking information in it, so whenever you feel an urge to gamble, nothing is going to stop you.
Snyder compares gambling to suicide in its impulsive nature.
“All advantages and drivers that favor the growth of fixed Internet gambling also apply to mobile gambling. Moreover, the mobile platform has certain inherent advantages, such as convenience and larger potential market as compared to the fixed Internet.”
“As mobiles are largely with their users 24/7, it means that, connectivity permitting, those users are theoretically always able to buy a lottery ticket, place a bet, or partake in remote game of poker,” says the report.
Gambling industry is moving further inside the online and mobile area, creating lightweight Android and iPhone applications. People who cannot afford to gamble, but get easily addicted to it, now get even more temptation to follow through with an impulse.
American lawmakers legalize online gambling state-by-state and Congress will hold hearings on the gambling issue in 2014. Money-wise, legalizing online gambling is a very profitable endeavor for a state. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says that online gambling is expected to bring $1 billion in tax revenue in six months time. There is no doubt that the administration needs that money, but the other side of online gambling legalization seems controversial to Mr.Snyder and many online gambling opponents.
The technology itself, according to Snyder, is not the problem in terms of mobile gambling. Portable devices change our lifestyle in the way we study, work and interact with the world. They improve the quality of our lives, but as everything else, bring the bad things alongside with good things. Leaving morale to the lawmakers is a hopeless undertaking, so the Juniper’s projected 100 million may end up to be a larger number by 2018.