Six years ago I thought I’d seen gambling get as convenient as it could possibly get when a handful offshore sports betting services began accepting wagers over the Internet. I was wrong.
Yes, the Internet essentially rewrote the books for sports betting businesses, but the arrival of the Internet’s first sportsbooks in 1995 marked only one step in the evolution. Not only have online sportsbooks since refined and nearly perfected the process of Internet bookmaking, not only has virtually every other type of gambling found its way onto the World Wide Web, today’s innovators are utilizing additional modern media to overcome the limitations of PC-based betting and take gambling to yet an even grander technological plateau.
What seems like a few short moments after the world got “wired,” “wired” became synonymous with “constraining” (in the sense that the wired Internet goes only as far as cables will take it) and modern communication took to the open air. Sure, it’s neat that you can purchase stocks, groceries and whatnot using your PC, but the future of e-commerce–upon the resolving of compatibility and bandwidth issues–is mobile.
And with age of mobile commerce comes the age of mobile betting. If you think it’s impressive that you can place a wager via the Internet on a sporting event from the comfort of your home, wait until you get a load of placing a wager from your car or from the barber shop or even from a seat in the venue where the event is taking place.
And what if you’re standing in line to purchase a lottery ticket and you’re not in the mood to wait for 12 people in front of you to buy theirs? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just whip out the cell phone, place your order immediately and move on to stuff you’d rather be doing?
All of these things are happening already, and like the Internet in 1995, mobile betting is about to evolve into the next big thing.
Most progress, so far, has been made on the Slot Online sports betting front, and the world’s three largest bookmakers – William Hill, Coral and Ladbrokes – have all gotten into the game by launching services that enable bettors to dial in their wagers using the displays and keypads of cell phones and/or additional wireless devices. All three betting have made their betting services available to customers with access to the wireless Internet.
Likewise, the purchasing of lottery tickets via mobile devices is about to go through the roof. PLUSLotto, one of the world’s first online lotteries, has already integrated wireless sales at its web site. Of particular significance are indications that the U.K. National Lottery will likely sell tickets via wireless devices in the near future.
For casinos, the near future doesn’t hold much in the way of wireless betting because the displays on wireless devices aren’t quite sophisticated enough yet to handle the graphics necessary for running virtual casino games. Nevertheless the first available wireless online casino, WirelessWinnings.com, made its debut late last year.
To where is all of this leading?
As the accessibility of gambling grows immensely, the ultimate goal, it seems, is for bettors to be able to place wagers and any time they want from anywhere on the planet. This is not necessarily a good thing, but it’s a fact and it’s an obtainable goal.