A mobile gambling game is a smartphone application that allows users to access a casino from anywhere. It usually offers a range of casino games such as video poker, blackjack, and roulette. In addition, it can include augmented reality and virtual reality options to enhance the user experience. Some mobile casinos also offer live-streamed casino experiences from real casinos or studios with actual dealers.
Mobile gambling has grown in popularity thanks to advances in smartphone technology and the availability of high-speed mobile networks. As of late, many traditional casinos have launched their own apps which typically feature a selection of slots and/or common gambling games such as roulette, poker, and blackjack. In fact, most online casinos now offer a mobile version of their sites and most of these offer multiple casino gambling games.
In the past, the graphical and processing limitations of older smartphones prevented rich gambling environments from being possible. However, more recent generations of devices now enable the ability to display full-colour graphics and support a range of sensors that allow for the development of mobile gambling games.
As mobile gaming becomes increasingly popular, developers are working hard to make these games more realistic and engaging. The use of 3D models and augmented reality is one way that casinos are trying to achieve this. While this does not necessarily mimic the experience of playing in a brick-and-mortar casino, it is still an effective way to make a casino more immersive and attractive to players.
The mobile gambling market is regulated differently by different countries. While some have banned it altogether, others permit it as long as it is done through a licensed operator. Despite this, there are some concerns that mobile gambling can lead to problem gambling. Studies have shown that this type of gambling can increase a player’s exposure to risk, decrease their control over betting, and encourage them to place bets on events with higher odds.
This study used a smartphone-based app to observe participants’ behaviour as they gambled on a simulated slot machine. Participants completed questionnaires (Gambling Questions, PGSI, GRCS, Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, PANAS) and a computerised contingency judgement task that probed the illusion of control, an important cognitive bias in gambling. In addition, they were asked to record their engagement with the simulated gambling app on their phone, including a log of their gambling sessions and their location. Contextual and behavioural data were collected for each session and were uploaded to the researcher’s server.
Results from the experiment indicated that participants were engaged with the app for an extended period of time and showed considerable perseverative behaviour during extinction. This was partly mediated by the presence of statistically unexpected wins and by the reversal of the reinforcement schedule (i.e., the occurrence of a loss followed by a win). Moreover, these results are consistent with theories of problem gambling and reinforcer learning, and they suggest that mobile gambling may facilitate the development of harmful behaviours.