It is incredible to think that in the past thirty years the world has gone from existence without the mobile phone to a vast majority of people carrying a mini-computer in their pocket. Alongside this, the mobile game industry has evolved from a pixilated snake that eats blocks to Virtual Reality (VR) games and immersive online mobile casinos.
In Norway, the regulations that govern gambling, whether online or in-person, are extremely tight. Legal websites that offer various casino bonuser are legal and regulated. There are many experts, like our very own Kristoffer Haagensen, who write a lot about how to navigate the mobile casino industry in Norway.
These regulations, in Norway and other countries, haven't stunted the growth of apps that allow you to gamble through games or mobile casinos. Let's take a look at that journey.
Since the start of WAP (wireless application protocol) technology implemented in early generation Nokia phones, people have been playing games and spending money to play them.
Albeit rudimentary and nowhere near the mobile casinos that are available today, people were still willing to spend money to take a stab at gambling using SMS and WAP Push technologies. That was in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Things have progressed astronomically since then. When Google implemented its Android operating system, and their Android Market, as it was called back in the day, people were now able to download mobile casino games. Some of them even offered real money.
Mobile games statistics show Texas Hold 'em was one of the first widely downloaded mobile casino games when newer internet technologies became available on mobile devices. Card games like poker and blackjack and mobile slots have always been the preferred games of choice and will likely continue to dominate the mobile casino industry in the near future.
Apple never allowed direct sales of gaming-related apps on their AppStore. This didn't stop development though.
Current Market Conditions
Most online casinos in today's modern world offer an app or mobile-browser-friendly gaming platforms for their customers to play their favourite games. Some casinos have proprietary software and others enlist the help of third-party vendors to build an app on their behalf.
All the same strict rules that apply to online casinos also apply to mobile casinos. That means if you're a Norwegian player, the banking industry in Norway will block gambling transactions for mobile casinos. You'll need to use ewallet facilities at legal online casinos outside Norway if you want to play for real money.
There are, however, "social" casino-style apps to download. These don't offer gambling in the true sense of the word where you wager money to win your money back or hit a jackpot. These apps are similar to mobile slots where you spin reels to win coins.
As with regular video slots, you start off with zero coins, or a very small amount, and would need to purchase coins with real money, so you can continue to play. This form of gaming is completely unregulated and not seen as gambling. Many people have made substantial losses whilst playing these types of social casino-like games.
At least with regulated online casinos, some legislations govern how you play and they have responsible gambling options to keep you safe and free from financial ruin. We'd recommend you stick to legal, regulated, and trusted gaming sites and casinos.
What does the future hold?
With rapid advancements being made in Virtual and Augmented Reality, we wouldn't be surprised to see this in the future. With the way things are going in the world today in terms of lockdown and social distancing, this might be a valid alternative.
We can imagine it would be entertaining to put on a VR headset and join a gaming room with other VR gamers, playing some roulette or craps, or live card games. All this without leaving the comfort of your house.
There is a rich and diverse history of mobile gaming throughout the world. People love wagering money on mobile casinos to test their luck - and skill. It's a fun and relaxing way to let off some steam.
Tight regulations make it difficult, but not impossible, for Norwegian citizens to gamble online. Social slot-like mobile games might be an alternative to mobile casinos but the unregulated sphere can lead to big financial losses, so be careful of that.
The future looks bright for the online mobile casino industry, though.