Mobile gambling is an increasingly popular form of gambling for many. In the UK, a report from the Gambling Commission estimates that there are 33.6 million active remote gambling customers. This figure is expected to increase to $115 billion by 2026. There are many mobile casinos available for people to enjoy. However, there is little research examining the behaviour of mobile gamblers.
The study used a simulated gambling app that measured gambling behaviour in phases of acquisition, reinforcing, extinction, and reacquisition. Participants played the game on their smartphones and submitted behavioural data. They were also asked to take a computerised contingency judgment task. The task explored the illusion of control, which is a common cognitive bias in gambling.
Data was collected from a total of 29 participants. Each time they played the app, their GPS co-ordinates were recorded. They were then asked to complete a series of open-ended questions about their experience with the app. Additionally, they had to explicitly consent to a recording of their data.
A total of 45,750 gambles were recorded over 642 gambling days. Each gamble was logged with the participant’s GPS co-ordinates, the game’s reward level, and the amount of money that they won. All of this information was uploaded to the online database. It was then analyzed by a computerised contingency judgment task. Compared to the group of gamblers who engaged with the app infrequently, participants who engaged with the app more frequently showed less positive outcomes. Furthermore, there was a greater propensity for participants to end their gambling session.
While the results indicate that the study population was likely a more representative sample of the mobile gamblers, there is still room for further research. Further studies should focus on the harms that may be associated with smartphone gambling. Specifically, researchers should look at markers of harm that have been improperly linked to other addictions. Researchers should also examine the role of social and psychological factors in mobile gambling.
Mobile gambling apps may provide a more seamless gambling experience than sites on desktops. The apps use full device power to enhance the player’s experience. In addition, they are optimized for accessory integration. For example, the Poker Face app was designed to allow players to video chat while they play. Also, the PokerStars app allows players to wager on many different games.
Mobile gambling is a low-cost alternative to traditional gaming. Some casino apps are free to download. But, there are also a number of sites that require a small deposit to use. These can be helpful for players who want to pad their mobile gambling bankroll. Choosing a site that provides weekly deposit limits is recommended. Keeping a sensible bankroll is essential for people who are using the app to win.
Gambling is a dangerous hobby, and if it is an addiction, it can become very serious. If you think you might have a problem, it is a good idea to talk to a professional about it.