Mobile gambling is a type of betting that takes place on a mobile device. It involves a wide range of gaming options that are optimized for mobile phones and tablets, allowing you to bet on sports, games, and other events from virtually anywhere. Compared to betting terminals, smartphones and tablets offer a more convenient and faster option. However, a growing body of research suggests that mobile gambling is potentially more risky to a subset of gamblers. Unlike traditional forms of gambling, smartphones and tablets are also more susceptible to technological glitches, which may lead to the occurrence of problematic behaviours.
A recently published study examined how smartphone gambling game interactions are distributed across the gambling experience. This study sought to understand whether there are differences in the types of games that mobile gamblers engage in, the timing of the interaction, and the amount of reinforcement received. Participants were asked to play a simulated gambling app that offered multiple levels of reward. Using a computerized contingency judgment task, the participants were asked to answer questions about their own gambling behaviour. This was a way of testing whether the illusion of control, a cognitive bias, is a factor in the gambling process.
During the mobile gambling session, behavioural data was collected on each gamble. This included the phone’s GPS coordinates, the time of the gamble, the number of times the player played the game, the time that they were engaged in the game, and the number of time they won. This information was used to evaluate the timing of the interaction, the degree of reinforcement received, and the latencies between gambling sessions. The results showed that a larger proportion of time spent on the game was associated with a greater likelihood of acquiring a positive outcome. On the other hand, a longer break between gambling sessions was associated with a lower likelihood of acquiring a negative outcome.
The mobile gambling market is expected to reach US$16.3 Billion in 2020. In addition, it is expected to grow at 12% annually for the next two decades, reaching $115 billion by 2026. As the industry continues to expand, new features are being developed to improve the overall gaming experience. In addition, blockchain technology is being used to allow for a decentralized, secure, and transparent gambling platform. This has helped companies develop better games and enables players to access the gambling experience without the need to trust third parties.
In the United Kingdom, there is a large online gambling market. As a result, the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission reports that 33.6 million customers are active remote gamblers. As more and more people use their smartphones and other mobile devices to gamble, there are more opportunities for research on the effects of mobile gambling on the general population.
Although there is no direct evidence of the impact of gambling on mobile phones, there are potential avenues for translational research. Amongst other things, the availability and accessibility of technology has been used to explain the harmfulness of gambling, and to help identify markers of harm.