In the face of rising taxation and stricter guidelines, the gaming industry is looking at ways to attract new customers and secure more business online.

At the same time, backers and betters want instantaneous access to their favourite games and the ability to have a flutter with the greatest of ease.

This means technology will play a crucial role in the future of online gaming. Even though visiting a virtual casino to play poker online against complete strangers on the other side of the world has never been more simple and straightforward, it seems as though smartphones and tablets will be at the forefront of what lies ahead for online gaming and, if anything, that experience will only be enhanced.

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Current state of affairs

Despite the fact online channels contributed $33.8 billion to the real money and gaming industry in 2012, this was only eight per cent of total net revenue as the overall global figure came in at an estimated $417 billion.

Of all the world's major betting regions, the UK market was described in a 2014 report by Deloitte as "one of the most developed Western markets for remote betting and gaming due to its size and maturity."

With a growth rate of 12 per cent, it was predicted that the UK market could reach total consumer expenditure of nearly £4.4 billion by 2018. At the heart of this would be sports betting, which achieved a gross gambling yield of just over £1.1 billion in 2013 according to Mintel.

Although most of this activity still took place in betting shops, predictions suggested that smartphones and tablets would soon take over. In fact, some analysts went so far as to say mobile betting had reached a tipping point where it started to surpass retail betting.

The rise of smartphones and tablets

There are several reasons why smartphones and tablets are becoming a more popular betting option than regular high-street outlets. Above all else these mobile devices are incredibly convenient and practical, enabling anyone to place bets or play games wherever they may be.

For example, punters no longer need to visit their local betting shop in order to lay money on a specific football score line and wait for it to come through. Instead, they can go to the pub, share predictions with friends, listen to the pre-match build-up, and make a more informed decision via their mobile device.

But the benefits of gaming on smartphones and tablets aren't just limited to sports betting. Operators that develop immersive gambling apps or exciting card playing games can tempt customers to place bets whenever they have a bit of time to spare. The payment infrastructure of mobile operating systems mean that purchases can be made instantaneously too.

This could spell the end for traditional betting shops, but in many respects, fellow retailers on the high-street have already recognised and adapted to today's increasingly online world and shunned the overheads-heavy business model of the past.

The future of online gaming

The Global Online Gambling & Betting Market 2014 predicted that mobile gambling will grow at double-digit rates and reach over 40 per cent of the total online gambling market by 2018.

So, even though desktop-based software will continue to have a place in the market, the accessibility and availability of mobile applications is what gamblers really want in today's day and age, keeping pace with the modern world of instant access and on demand thrills.

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