The Evolution of the Mobile Poker Industry

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Once again, worldwide online poker play is on the cusp of major growth. Online operators, networks and suppliers have worked hard to develop new and engaging game formats and features in a bid to encourage player loyalty, and it shows. Mobile-first, poker gameplay is certainly benefitting as part of a global boom in mobile gaming; an industry that is now projected to be worth upwards of $100bn by the end of this year.

According to a recent infographic from PocketWinnings, the share of mobile gaming yields, as a percentage of overall gaming revenue, has risen from 7.4% in 2007 to 16.6% in 2015. Meanwhile, statistics portal Statista calculates that revenues specifically from mobile social poker will reach $76m at the end of 2017. Clearly, there is plenty of proof that mobile poker is now in the mainstream gaming sphere. And some of the world’s biggest television and sports stars are behind the leading games and brands, including American comedian Kevin Hart and world-class Olympian Usain Bolt.

Overall revenues for the online poker industry are estimated at $156m, which suggests that mobile poker will equate to almost half (48.7%) of all income generated in 2017. Compare these revenues with online poker earnings generated in 2013, which saw mobile poker amount to only 37.4% of all income, and it’s easy to see that more poker players are taking to their smartphone and tablet devices to get involved.

In recent years, online poker networks have allocated increasing resources to the design, development and enhancement of their mobile-friendly, poker apps. They are now readily available for all iOS and Android smartphone and tablet users, making poker a more social game than ever before thanks to players’ flexibility to play on the move at any given time. Furthermore, mobile poker is no longer restricted to basic Texas Hold’em cash game tables; developers have now enabled mobile poker apps to offer full-fledged, multi-table tournaments as well as Sit ‘N’ Gos and even private tournaments with pals. However, for traditional poker players, who use their brains rather than any heads-up display software or other tools to make strategic betting actions, mobile poker is a refreshing alternative, providing unrestricted access to their favorite card game on the daily commute to work, in the supermarket and even in the bar.

Leading online poker networks such as PokerStars now offer “Quick Seating” functionality on their iOS and Android apps, which is designed to let players immediately join their favorite games and tournaments at the touch of one button. Beginners can also get involved, too, with in-game tutorials offered that are optimized for smartphone and tablet screens. Their “Mobile Cashier” functionality also makes it possible for players to manage their bankroll by withdrawing and depositing funds using their mobile device.

Mobile is quickly overtaking the desktop as the number one medium of communications, entertainment and financial payments. The combination of liberalized online gaming legislation and the escalating adoption of smartphone and tablet devices in all four corners of the world means that it surely won’t be long until mobile poker revenues are the dominant force for the industry. Watch this space…


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