Dr. Christos Dimitriadis, head of information security for Greek gambling operator Intralot, recently told Computing magazine that mobile gambling will eventually become legal across all European Union member states. “It has to happen because states have to control [gambling] from a responsibility perspective.” Dimitriadis declined to offer a timetable for his prediction to become reality, but there’s no question operators have mobile on the brain.
UK gambling stalwarts Bet365 recently gave their mobile platform an HTML5 makeover. Alan Reed, Bet365’s head of systems team, told Techworld that the platform’s audio and video streaming was now HTML5-powered, allowing customers to access the streams on any device without the need for a flash plug-in. Reed said HTML5 had allowed Bet365 to embed the streams, giving customers betting opportunities alongside real-time data.
HTML5 also allows Bet365 to detect the screen size, system capability and type of connection available to a customer’s device, allowing Bet365 to employ a “graceful degradation” of service where necessary. For example, if the customer had WiFi access, video streaming would start automatically, but if the customer was relying on a 3G connection, the video would be presented as a ‘click play’ option to conserve bandwidth.
The shift in focus from native apps to a one-size-fits-all HTML5 approach helps reduce fragmentation and provides Bet365 with efficiencies from decreased development timetables, but Bet365 isn’t abandoning native apps – nor HTML4 technology – altogether. Reed said making moves for which customers might not have the technology to enjoy to the fullest was “not good business sense.” Over half of Bet365’s customers have accessed the company’s offering via their mobile devices.
To underscore their ongoing commitment to native apps, Bet365 just released Playtech-powered Mini Baccarat and Ultimate Blackjack Mobile Live Casino games for iPhone and iPad. The new apps follow the August 2012 release of Playtech’s mobile bingo offering and February’s release of Playtech’s roulette app, which has already been adopted by UK operator Betfred.
Meanwhile, Microgaming has just released four new HTML5 five-reel slots, raising the company’s mobile portfolio to 29 HTML5 games. The new titles are Cashapillar, Alaskan Fishing, Treasure Nile and Stash of the Titans. Microgaming’s head of product channels Neill Whyte said the company will continue to augment its portfolio with monthly new releases.
Paddy Power’s mobile casino brand Roller has just inked a sponsorship deal with Sky Sports’ Through The Night program. The deal will see Roller promos appear before, after and during Sky Sports News bulletins between 11pm and 5am starting July 1 through Nov. 30. Roller is a native iOS product featuring 19 table games, slots, roulette and video poker options.
Finally, Dutch 3D slots developer Sheriff Gaming recently released its first mobile slots. The rollout is a welcome diversion from the company’s recent negative headlines and is being conducted under Sheriff’s mobile banner SMART. The mobile push will eventually encompass 15 slots and five table games in over 20 languages. The products have been rejigged into HTML5 format in order to broaden their reach to all mobile devices.