On March 18, 2020, all casinos in Las Vegas closed for the first time in several years. The authorities made the tough decision because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Most people know that Las Vegas is a heaven for gambling enthusiasts. But, unfortunately, the closure of their favorite casinos meant many of these people could no longer enjoy their favorite games.
Many of these people then turned to their mobiles for the solution. They replaced the real casinos they were so fond of with virtual counterparts on their smartphones. Some of the gambling enthusiasts, permanently.
Mobile casino games are digital versions of physical casino games, like Poker and Slots, played on mobiles and tablets.
This type of game dates back to the days of Nokia phones. The mobile casino games on Nokia were games where players could play with virtual in-game currencies. No real money gambling was involved.
Mobile was not as popular as most game genres until recently when a host of things transformed the genre into one with millions of fans around the world:
Anyone can download and play a mobile casino game within minutes. In addition, players can download any of the top games on the Play Store and meet other players who love the same game.
In some instances, players don’t even have to download games but can just visit a casino gaming website and start playing.
On top of this, most mobile casino games, whether they are found on online stores or a website, are free to play. Players don’t have to pay unless they choose to do so.
Increased security of smartphones over the years has made it possible to create virtual transactions without fear. This opened up the mobile casino game genre as people could start putting real money into mobile casino games as they would at a real casino.
Players can buy chips like they would at a real casino. And once they win, they can convert the chips to real money and credit it to their bank account.
In most casino games, players can communicate with each other via voice, text, and emojis during gameplay. The result is a competitive atmosphere similar to what you can see in a real casino.
Players taunt and deceive each other. Experienced online mobile casino gamers have formed their virtual casino language with emojis and reactions.
Top mobile casino games also have excellent matchmaking systems which match players of similar skill levels. As a result, the matches in these games are as competitive as the ones you can see at the best casinos in the world.
Players can connect their social media accounts and invite their friends and family to play with them. When players couple this with the in-game chat systems, it results in an excellent social experience.
In addition to social media interaction, many mobile casino games also have other multi-player features. For example, there are ‘Tournament Modes,’ where players participate against other individuals or teams. In addition, there are leaderboards that rank players on various metrics like the number of matches they have won.
To further the social experience, many casino game developers have made it possible for players to create custom avatars, usernames, etc. Players can even showcase the badges, awards, and trophies they have won on their profiles and share them with others via social media.
The mobile casino game sector is one of the largest sectors within the mobile gaming industry (worth $150 billion+.)
Individual casino games like Coin Master and Zynga Poker have made millions during their lifetime. Coin Master, as of 2021, has made $2 billion over its lifetime. Zynga Poker, similarly, made $80 million in 2020 alone.
The developers of mobile casino games like these monetize their games using in-game ads, in-app purchases, or a combination of both.
In games involving real money gambling, in-app purchases are the dominant monetization method. Players buy chips or other virtual equivalents. And just like how a real casino does, the developers take a certain percentage of it as their cut while converting the rest into chips the players can use.
In games where real-money gambling is not involved, the dominant form of monetization is in-game advertisements. If in-app purchases are there in these games, they are generally for buying virtual coins or other in-game perks, which players cannot convert back to real money.
Mobile casino games will get better features in the future, which will attract more players. For instance, the game Poker Face introduced video chat during gameplay, something other games haven’t done. As a result, the game became popular among a lot of users. Innovative features like these will lead to more players. So, we will see developers experimenting with new features.
AR integration is another exciting possibility to look forward to in the future. With AR, players will be able to take the virtual casino experience into the real world. They can have the whole game and the players they are playing against in front of them.
On the opposite spectrum, with VR, rather than taking the casino experience to the real world, players can directly visit the virtual casinos as if it was a real world. Players would wear a mobile VR headset and play online casino games, feeling physically present at the virtual casinos.
All this will make the individual games more popular and further increase the revenue share of the genre. For aspiring developers, this is an opportunity.
We, at Juego Studios, are a team of mobile game developers, game designers, artists, testers, etc. We have developed several top games, including notable casino games, across various platforms over the years.