The online casino industry has grown rapidly over the past decade, with advancements in technology transforming how the sector operates.
Mobile tech has undoubtedly played a major role in how casinos have progressed, with the top sites expertly leveraging developments in this area to their advantage.
Studies have shown that people spend an average of around four hours per day on their smartphones, with much of that time dedicated to playing games.
The best online casino operators have invested significant resources to optimise their sites to work on mobile, while many have also developed standalone apps.
It is now possible to play roulette games and other popular casino games around the clock, a factor that has helped to drive significant growth in the industry.
To ensure they can compete with their rivals, operators must ensure that their mobile offering provides a seamless experience for casino players.
The firms that have gone the extra mile by creating an app are undoubtedly the ones best placed to cash in on the shift towards mobile.
With that in mind, we take a closer look at how casino apps are created and assess key elements such as the games, payment methods and security.
Creating a casino app
Dependent resources, operators either use in-house technology teams or the services of external companies to develop a casino app.
They will utilise the latest software to build a fully functional app that incorporates all the popular casino games including roulette, blackjack, slots and more.
The app will feature the same theme as the operator’s website, to ensure that the brand remains consistent across all platforms.
Elements such as payment gateways, social media integration, push notifications, bonuses, promotions and customer service must all be considering during the development process.
Once the app has been built and fully tested, it is published on online stores and players can download to their chosen device.
Deciding what game software to use
Most of the leading online casino operators use the services of a select group of game developers who have become synonymous with the gambling industry.
Firms such as Microgaming, Playtech, Evolution Gaming and International Game Technology are huge organisations in their own right.
They each have their own unique portfolio of exciting games, which they supply under license to online casino operators.
Each of the companies employ some of the top developers in the world, who use advanced programming techniques to create the different games.
A casino app is only as good as the games it features, and this is unquestionably the element that operators have to get right.
Understanding the game mechanics
To conform with licensing and regulatory requirements, casino operators must guarantee that the outcome of all their games is random.
For games such as roulette, this involves the use of a random number generator (RNG) which helps to ensure that the spin of the wheel cannot be manipulated.
The RNG determines where the ball will land on the wheel, thus ensuring that players can place bets safe in the knowledge that the game is fair.
This factor is not in play for the live casino variant of roulette, where the ball is spun by an actual croupier in real-time.
Many operators have added live casino games to their apps, replicating the excitement a player would experience in a brick-and-mortar venue.
Integrating payment gateways
The latest app building software allows developers to easily integrate payment gateways into a mobile casino site.
Debit/credit cards and e-Wallets continue to be popular with players, and can generally be used to deposit and withdraw on a casino app.
The desire for enhanced levels of security has recently sparked a shift towards other payment methods, with open banking one of the most prevalent.
For example, Trustly has already become hugely popular with casino players in Europe and has been tipped to make its mark in the United Kingdom.
Trustly uses the same encryption tech as banks and can be fully integrated into a casino app to facilitate all payment transactions.
The data privacy conundrum
Online casino operators are under huge pressure from gambling authorities to ensure that they conform to legislation surrounding data privacy.
Keeping personal data safe and secure is a massive challenge, and is an element that developers must give serious thought to when creating an app.
This point was perfectly highlighted by a recent study by the Synopsys Cybersecurity Research Centre into more than 3,000 of the top apps in the Google Play Store.
They found that a staggering 98% of apps featured open-source components, while another 63% contained known security vulnerabilities.
On that basis, it is essential for casino operators to ensure that the people they task with building their apps are fully au fait with data privacy issues.
The app is launched – what next?
Developing and launching an app is all well and good, but the investment will be wasted if the operator fails to market it correctly.
Having ploughed resources into developing the app, casinos need people to download it and play the different games.
The top casino firms offer special bonuses and promotions for people who use the app, making it a tempting proposition for new and existing players.
Marketing the app via website and social media channels helps to build awareness and can provide a significant return on investment for operators.
Apps also allow online casinos to capture valuable personal data that they can use to improve their services in the future.
A casino app increases brand visibility and builds trust with customers – every online casino operator should have one!