The gambling industry recognised some time ago that mobile betting would be crucial to future growth and they’ve been proved right with record numbers of punters betting on mobile.
In 2010, bet365, Betfair and William Hill launched mobile apps for iPhone signalling a sea change in the industry and its estimated around 50% of online betting comes via mobile devices with no signs of letting up.
Nowadays virtually every online bookmaker form small independent to major international operator has a mobile betting products, be it a mobile version of their website and/or dedicated betting apps for iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices.
Features and services available for mobile betting have changed considerably over the last 4 and a half years and punters can expect an experience every bit as good as using the full website. Mobile technology has advanced so much in the short time, there is no reason to accept a pared back service when betting on mobile.
So what should you expect form your mobile betting app? Here are the top 5 must have features we’d want from mobile.
1. Full access to account details.
It seems almost silly to mention but the ability to make secure deposits and withdrawals direct from your mobile app wasn’t always available to early adopters. Back in the day many apps required you already have an account and it be managed online. The app would allow you to see your balance and place a bet if the account was in credit.
Now you can manage every aspect of your account via the app. Check your balance, withdraw winnings direct to your bank account and make a deposit if you wish to top up and place a bet. Any mobile betting app that doesn’t offer full account management is simply not worth having on your phone or tablet.
2. A great bet slip
The bet slip was another compromised feature in the first years of mobile betting apps. It took some operators quite a while to be able to offer anything more than a single bet or straight accumulator.
Today’s iOS and Android apps should provide the full range of bet type options. Punters want to place their bets with the minimum of effort and the bet slip should help achieve this. Your mobile betting will allow to scroll through the betting markets and tap on a selection to add it to the bet slip. Continue scrolling and adding selections then when ready, open the bet slip and choose bet type and stakes, even allowing different stakes for diffent bet types on the same slip.
For example, take three selections and have £10 single on the first, £5 single on each of the other two plus £2 double and £2 treble. That’s the kind of flexibility that is the now the norm.
3. Bet and Watch
Mobile processors today are as good as the typical desktop pc five years ago. This means many mobile phones and the vast majority of tablets can stream live video in glorious high definition. And, it’s not always dependent on access to wi-fi thanks the widespread availability of 4g.
Live in-play is one of the biggest draws of mobile betting and the ability to bet and watch a live stream takes the experience to another level. Not all apps have the feature and some provide more live streams than others.
bet365 has one of the most comprehensive lists of free live streaming sports events and it’s no co-incidence that they reported an increase of 1.7 million customers in their 2013-14 accounts, driven by the huge growth in mobile betting.
4. Cash Out
Cash out is the most recent innovation in online betting, inspired by trading techniques adopted on betting exchanges such as Betfair.
Betfair and bet365 have been quick to recognise the potential for mobile sportsbook, especially with football accas and live betting. Bookmakers have been full on developing their mobile platforms to offer cash out and it has become the must-have feature in time for the 2015-16 football season.
Cash out lets you take control of your bet. Where available, your active bets will show a cash out value so you can choose to take a profit or cut your loss before the final outcome of the event.
Bet365 mobile has taken it a step further with partial cash out, just adjust the slider to accept cash out on part of the stake and let the remainder ride to the end.
Make no mistake, bookmakers are doing no favours by providing the convenience of mobile betting and they are fighting hard to win your business.
Competition is fierce and you should expect to be fed money back specials, bonuses, price boosts and prize promotions direct to your app. Accept notifications and you need never miss a great chance of pocketing a free bet or extra winnings.
Also, there’s no reason to stay loyal to just one bookmaker. You can receive free bets and bonuses when opening a new account and since the typical size of a betting app is between 10-15mb, your mobile will be able to hold as many as you like.