Mobile gambling has emerged as a major growth area in the digital gambling sector. Smartphones are increasingly being used to access online casinos and play games of chance. The popularity of mobile gaming is partly due to the ease of use and accessibility of smartphones, as well as a general move towards digital and virtual technology in many areas of life. In addition, mobile devices are becoming more sophisticated and able to handle large amounts of data. This has resulted in a number of different types of casino games being developed for mobile platforms, from video slots to classic table games like blackjack and roulette.
As a new form of gambling, mobile gambling requires a separate consideration from previous studies on behavioural and cognitive processes involved in gambling. While existing research focuses on self-report data or the comparison of results from laboratory and field settings, the emerging nature of mobile gambling necessitates an examination of how different features of mobile phone technology may impact behaviour and cognition in this context.
In this study, participants interacted with a simulated gambling app on their smartphones. The simulated game was programmed to operate using a fixed rate of reinforcement on a random ratio schedule, and behavioural and location information were collected as participants interacted with the app. The results suggest that the timing of reinforcement and latencies between reinforcements may be a key feature in mobile gambling.
These findings support theoretical models of problem gambling and associative learning that emphasise the importance of timing in generating harmful behaviour. In particular, they suggest that mobile gambling might be particularly susceptible to impulsive and addictive behaviours as a result of the frequency with which reinforcement is delivered and the short periods of time between gambles.
Currently, the largest market for mobile gambling is North America, a region characterized by a high level of government regulation and stringent standards on online casino activities. However, Europe is also a significant market for mobile gambling, with differing laws ranging from Finland where the state monopoly operates online casinos to Norway which has a complete ban on online gambling.
While most players will still prefer to play on a desktop computer, the convenience of having a mobile gambling game has become very popular among some players. There are a wide variety of options available to mobile users, from dedicated apps to responsive websites. However, it is important for mobile users to ensure that the sites they choose are safe and cater to their country’s gambling regulations. The best way to do this is to check the site’s security and license details before deciding to deposit any money. Alternatively, some players will prefer to use free play options to familiarize themselves with the games before making a real money deposit. This is a useful strategy for newbies who have never played a casino game before. In such cases, it is recommended to choose a website with multiple gambling software providers and to select one that offers a range of casino games.