Online poker is going portable, with an industry expert suggesting mobile devices will account for 30 per cent of play by the end of 2014, a near eight-fold increase on current levels.
Despite the online gambling scene having exploded in recent years, the industry and its users have not been the quickest to adopt portable technologies. According to a senior figure at one of the world's largest online poker services, however, that is all set to change, with the next 12 months to see many players take their action on the move.
Speaking to TrustedReviews at a World Poker Tour National series event in London, Jeffrey Haas, Head of Poker at PartyPoker predicted that within the coming year, online poker on smartphones and tablets could see a huge increase in users.
“Today we have 4 per cent of our user base [on mobile], but I see it growing,” Haas told us. He added: “I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s 25 to 30 per cent of all players by the end of 2014, if not more.”
PartyPoker launched an updated iOS application last month. The revamped service for iPhone and iPad owners joins a dedicated Android app and an HTML 5 application available for other mobile platforms, highlighting PartyPoker's commitment to poker on mobile devices.
Haas' lofty predictions aren't made lightly, either. Zynga Poker, a casual 'play money' poker app from the Facebook game experts, is one of the highest grossing apps on the Apple App Store and Zynga has plans to offer real money games in future.
According to Haas, who has held senior positions in the online poker industry for nine years, a move to more mobile and tablet play could have implications not only on player rates, but indeed how people play. The PartyPoker head suggests that mobile players tend to play shorter sessions with a much higher “velocity” than their desktop based counterparts.
“People typically play three times as many hands,” Haas said of mobile players. “Unfortunately, they also lose faster on their mobile because people have less focus.”
PartyPoker’s revised iOS app is part of an ongoing revamp of the company’s poker clients on all platforms. Alongside the new apps, a recently released new desktop application has introduced simplified matchmaking and Xbox Live-style achievements and 'missions' for players to aim for.
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