iGaming Business magazine Mobile Gaming Outlook - Page 12

Mobile Gaming Outlook E V I L CASINO REVOLUTION Vladislavs Hveckovičs predicts a bright future for mobile live casino gaming Vladislavs Hveckovičs is a gaming systems integrator, casino back-office software developer and the CIO and co-founder at SoftGamings. Founded in 2008, SoftGamings offers online casino platform solutions, including development of white label, turnkey and self-service casinos and advanced bonus and loyalty engines. Even with the iPhone revolution well on its way, nobody in 2008 thought that mobile live casino games would take such a significant piece of the igaming cake. In hindsight, it almost seems obvious that at least 50% of revenue would come from mobile but when live casino was new and unproven the topic of mobile penetration into the vertical was not very popular. For the revolution to take place, the technology had to be cheap and available. Mobile phones, with cheap and capable Android models and more upscale Apple products took the world by storm. When you realise that virtually everyone carries a modern, very capable computer with an HD display in their pocket, the possibilities are almost limitless. An important factor to bear in mind is the ubiquity of the mobile internet. All the following attributes should be in place: the speed (4G and upcoming 5G), quality of the coverage and cheap unlimited data plans. The pioneering countries in that respect are Scandinavia and the Baltic states, where internet connectivity has been of a consistently high quality for a long time. Surprisingly, much of Western Europe and the rest of the world are still lagging behind. “The quality of the video and the user experience are now completely solved by the top live casino providers” 92 iGamingBusiness | Issue 112 | September/October 2018 Once you have the capabilities of modern mobile phones and a network that can provide the required high bandwidth it is only a matter of time before you see mobile live casino figures in the countries grow double digits per year. Our experience working with the top live casino providers shows that the biggest providers take mobile very seriously, not only because it’s part of their future strategy, but because it’s already a very large part of their revenue, with figures north of 50%. If you split mobile penetration into geographic segments, the figures vary wildly, but if you take into account the uneven technological capabilities of mobile networks, it’s not very surprising. Interestingly, many developing countries have jumped a couple of steps in the telecom evolution. Having never enjoyed a good wired internet – simply due to having vast territories that need to be connected by optical wires – they have arrived at 4G speeds faster than the richer, developed countries of Western Europe. We see that the mobile traffic from Asia and Africa is growing at a very strong pace. Actually, the only thing still going for the desktop is the size of the screen, as the quality of the video and the user experience are now completely solved by the top live casino providers. It is pretty obvious that watching a blockbuster movie on a big screen is much more enjoyable than watching the same movie on a screen of even the largest mobile phone. The desktop experience is still slightly better if you can afford it, but given that live casino often works as an impulse thing, having access to it on the mobile outweighs the comfort of the desktop experience. What’s the future for mobile live casino games? It’s definitely going to grow until it reaches 60-70% in most of the markets, and the penetration will swiftly follow the technological advances. Given that it is already quite easy to use screen casting to any of the larger displays from your mobile phones, and that there are fewer desktop computers all around, mobile is definitely something all operators should do well if they are to succeed.