The development of smartphones has allowed players to take their games on the road. No longer confined to their PCs or consoles, games like PUBG, Candy Crush Saga, and even online casinos, can all be played wherever and whenever you like, with no special equipment needed other than your phone. As such, the mobile sector of the online gaming market has grown massively and continues to do so. Mobile devices are now the most used gaming device, eclipsing PC’s and consoles for the first time.
The rise of mobile gaming has also changed the type of games which people play, and the kind of people who play them. Smartphones and tablets don’t lend themselves very well to massive open world adventure games with precision controls, however the touchscreen control works very well for puzzle games, combat games, and word games. This had led to the rise of casual games – where players can play in short bursts and don’t get bogged down by heavy storylines.
Rise of online casinos
Online casinos fit perfectly into this category, which is why they have seen increasing profits every year. Sites are able to offer a huge variety of games in all different styles, unencumbered by the physical limitations that land-based casinos suffer from.
While some sites, like this online casino for Canadians, host a good selection of games, some sites choose to specialise on one game, like bingo, slots, or poker, and therefore tailor their approach to attract a specific type of client. And this is where the gender split comes in.
Gender perceptions in casino gaming
Different casino games appeal to different people, but there are some strong gender biases towards different styles. Casino games have long been associated with male players – just look back at films from the early days of Hollywood to more modern offerings. Besuited men gather around poker tables and roulette wheels, with women hanging around as good luck charms or companions, but rarely players. While that sounds like old-fashioned sexism, there is actually a valid psychological basis to this depiction.
Men prefer games that come with a higher risk but also higher rewards. They aren’t afraid to lose games along the way and will often bet bigger after a loss in order to win their money back faster. Games against other players rather than the dealer give men a chance to be competitive and play for bragging rights. They also like to dig in and play for a long time, which is why poker is such a male dominated game.
Studies have shown that males prefer to play casino games against other players like table games, to make the games more competitive.
By contrast, women prefer to play in short bursts, so casual games like online slots are perfect. These games are also more private; wins and losses aren’t played out in a public arena like table games. They like to play against a dealer, rather than compete with other players, and prefer games which are low risk/low return.
Has mobile gaming affected ‘gender gaming’?
Just a couple of decades ago, the online gaming sector was a very male dominated world, but this has changed with the development of mobile gaming. The number of female players is growing, and the gap between the genders is narrowing.
The effects of more female gamers can be clearly seen in the way that game development is changing. More and more games are now being designed specifically for mobile devices, rather than seeing them adapted from PC games. These games are geared towards the more casual – and often female – gamer.
Online slots are now the most-played online casino game, indicating that the female share of the market may well be eclipsing the male. Mobile gaming offers exactly the kind of private, personal experience which women look for. Being mobile, they can also pick up and play during breaks in the day which suits them perfectly.
But this doesn’t mean that the new world of mobile gaming has forgotten men, in fact it indicated that more gender-neutral gaming is the future. Giving players the option to play how, when, and where they like is sure to suit everybody.
Many believe the future of gaming is ‘gender-neutral’ as gaming providers realise the potential for this market.
The social element of games is retained through the addition of chatroom functions and the ability to invite friends to a game: it’s still possible to have poker night in a virtual environment, just organise for all your friends to meet at the same online table! And the added anonymity of playing behind a screen encourages players to try different games and take bigger risks with their money, because the embarrassment of losing publicly has been removed.
In conclusion, mobile casinos are most definitely not dominated by male players, although they do still make up a slight majority. The gap between male and female players is shrinking a little bit more every year, and this is helped by the online casinos which choose to tailor their marketing directly at female gamers.
For mobile casinos who want to embrace every type of player, offering a good spread of different games will make sure they attract everyone. And the divides between different games are starting to blur, slot machines now come in high and low variance types, showing how the game is trying to appeal to both genders. High variance machines pay out big winnings but infrequently, appealing more to the traditional male player, while low variance slots pay little and often. Similarly high stakes and low stakes table games are available, which cater for all comers.