The very first Mobile and Tablet Gambling Summit wrapped up in London after taking place November 21st and 22nd at the Royal Garden Hotel. The second day was full of sessions with some overlap of material covered and debated, uncovering some pretty clear themes in the mobile and tablet gambling industry.
Conference Chair Aideen Shortt summed it up nicely when she said one of her main takeaways from the event is that the Native App vs. HTML5 debate is still going strong and we’re no where near “the right answer”. This theme most certainly popped up throughout the day and sparked some interesting discussion amongst presenters and delegates.
Betway is an example of a company that has developed an excellent app which is available in the UK Apple Store and will be available in several other Apple Stores across Europe. Paul McManus, Head of Mobile for Betway, very diplomatically explained to the crowd that his team developed an HTML5 version of the mobile site and wrapped it up into an app, so they have essentially done both.
While developing for the app store clearly requires more developing and money, McManus believes that its worth the journey because consumers who own Apple devices tend to be more affluent and therefore a more attractive target, an app opens up more channels of communication to customers, people trust apple and lets be honest- people like apps, simple as that.
On the other hand, Alchemy Bet is a start-up company that has recently launched PocketFruity, an HTML5 mobile slots casino. Alchemybet CEO James Harrison told CalvinAyre.com that he chose HTML5 as its easier to fix bugs, you don’t have to deal with the Apple Store and its cheaper, quite frankly.
There are a number of HTML5 benefits other than the price, including its compatibility across all smartphones, the ease of getting updates out into the masses and its “one code fits all”, so happy days for developers.
PocketFruity makes for an interesting case study as the brand has done great job penetrating the very saturated UK market using a start-up company budget. Even though its expensive, Alchemybet decided to go with TV advert to help build the brand which has been successful so far, in addition to the usual social media strategies and unique branding which is less “Las Vegas” and more “UK fruit machine” so customers are comfortable with the look and feel.
Another theme we keep hearing is that dual screens are the future for online betting, especially the combination of connected TVs and mobile devices. Stuart McClean of Miomni presented some interesting figures surrounding Smart TV illustrating just how large this market is expected to grow. By 2017, its predicted that 596 million people around the world will have Smart TV which is 21.4% growth from what we are seeing today. The largest amount of growth will be in Asia, the perfect geographical region to enjoy the benefits of live dealer on a Smart TV, so a lot of potential there.
The sportsbetting industry in general will see a lot of opportunity from Smart TV and dual screen technology- in fact, Paddy Power has already tapped into the Smart TV Market- as two devices can push content from one to the next, greatly enriching the customers betting experience.
As you can see, there was a ton of information covered over the past few days at the Mobile and Tablet Gambling Summit. Mobile gambling will likely surpass PC gambling much faster than we anticipate, so to sum it up, mobile gambling IS the future of our industry. Be sure to stay on top of this space, otherwise you are going to get left behind…