Just 30 years ago, the prospect of being able to make wagers on casino games from your own home would have been laughable, never mind the concept of being able to use the tiny pocket computer that you carry with you to enjoy thousands of different HD-quality video slots.
Yet, today, that is exactly how it works. Whether you load up blackjack from your laptop or you spin the wheel of roulette from your smartphone, you have the freedom to play wherever and whenever.
Playing casino games on the go is not a niche concept either. Players can choose from hundreds of different websites and apps, just here in the UK. At a global level, there are even more brands that offer these games, with the total number of sites and apps running into the thousands.
So, with so many businesses all vying for the attention and patronage of the same players, what do they do to stand out?
Bonuses are one way in which casinos stand out. Practically every iGaming brand on the planet offers some form of offer to encourage new players to sign up and begin placing bets. They come in different shapes and sizes, though most offer a variety of ‘no deposit’ deals just for signing up and/or a larger ‘deposit match’ that gives you additional funds to play with after you make your first payment.
Generally, larger and more established casinos have smaller bonuses like this, while newer and less established brands offset the lack of brand recognition with larger deals.
Bigger and Better Games
In an industry that revolves around letting people place bets on casino games, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that one of the biggest ways that operators choose to compete with each other is in their selection of different titles.
Most offer hundreds or even thousands of different video slots, with a sizable selection of traditional table games to complement this. These slots are often created with different themes, ranging from Greek mythology all the way through to space-based science fiction. By offering such a diverse range of styles, casinos can appeal to the broadest possible range of players.
That isn’t the only way in which casinos use their games to stand out. They appeal to savvy players by creating titles with more favourable rates of return. All slots have a ‘return-to-player (RTP)’ rate that is advertised on the casino’s website. The RTP meaning is the theoretical return that a player can expect if they play that game over a very long time. Since the rate is advertised, players that want to maximise the use they get from their bankroll before they must deposit again will seek out these high RTP games and the casinos that offer them.
More and more casino players are looking to play their favourite games from a mobile device. For some, this is because they want to take their favourite games with them, playing on the go. For others, however, this mobile experience still means placing wagers from home, but with the convenience of using a small device and doing so from their sofa or bed without having to take out a laptop.
The mobile iGaming experience is very varied, however. Some brands offer pleasant and intuitive mobile apps that are compatible with both iOS and Android devices, but others haven’t bothered with this.
Often, it is smaller brands that are app-less because developing a dedicated application is expensive and continues to be costly to maintain. Additionally, in some regions, Google and Apple are very restrictive about what iGaming apps they allow in their marketplaces.
Almost every casino and game is compatible with a mobile web browser thanks to HTML5, meaning players nearly always have the opportunity to play on any device, but the quality of this varies greatly.
Therefore, this is a major point of competition for gaming sites as they try to capture more of this growing market.