When you are shopping around for a sportsbook to join, you will notice that most of them now prominently promote their mobile apps. This has been a growing trend for years, which is understandable considering that more and more internet users are switching over to their smartphones or tablets as their primary online devices.
Still, jumping on the mobile bandwagon with sports betting does not make a huge amount of sense—for websites or for users.
Why? Well, there are a number of reasons, which I am going to get into in this article. But first, I would like to share some statistics with you.
The Gambling Commission in the UK recently posted some fascinating data on Britons who gamble.
- 17% of gamblers in the UK did so on the internet.
- Mobile gambling has increased 10% since 2015 to 43%.
- 97% of gamblers are still gambling at home.
This is all very informative data. Reading these statistics, we can propose the following hypotheses:
- A lot more people are gambling on their mobile devices at home than on the go.
- Most gamblers know that it is a better idea to gamble at home than it is to gamble while they are out and about.
- Mobile gambling is growing, but that does not have much to do with the concept of gambling on the move.
In short, if you are going to use your mobile device for gambling, you are probably going to get more out of it if you are still sitting at home doing it. This is in part because a mobile device works better as an auxiliary tool when you are betting on sports than it does as your main interface. But it is also because gambling on the go has a lot of drawbacks.
So now let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of mobile sports betting.
Convenience and portability. The number one reason that most people are likely to be tempted to gamble on their mobile devices is the same reason these devices are so popular in the first place. People love the convenient small size and portability of tablets and smartphones. It is undeniably cool to be able to gamble in any room of the house or even on the road.
Flexibility. Because mobile devices are so portable, they offer you more flexibility when it comes to scheduling your betting activities. If you really, really want to bet on a particular event live while you are at the office, you can do so. If there is an event taking place halfway around the world and you want to monitor your bets from your bedside table at night, you can do so with your smartphone.
Not everyone has a full-size computer these days. One more reason that mobile betting is advantageous is that for some people, it really is the only option. A lot of people do not even own desktops and laptops anymore. If all you have is a smartphone or tablet, obviously it benefits you to be able to bet on it. Otherwise you would have to go out and buy something else.
The small screen is very restricting. You can really only view one thing at a time on a tiny smartphone screen—so that means you would have to switch back and forth a lot if you wanted to watch a live stream and also bet at the same time. If you are nervous and in a rush to place your bets quickly, you could end up fumbling and making mistakes. Plus, watching a live stream of a sporting event on a mobile phone is not the best way to pick up on fast action or small details. Sometimes the facial expression of a player could tell you something vital about the action unfolding—but on a tiny mobile display, you might miss it completely.
Third-party APIs are limited. Third party APIs can be incredibly useful for sports betting, but you will discover the selection is wider for desktop and laptop platforms than it is for mobile devices.
Functionality may be limited on the site. While mobile apps for betting and mobile versions of sports betting sites can be quite handy, they usually are not as richly-featured as the full versions of the sites.
If you are out of your home, you may be on an unsecured network and you may be dealing with distractions. Even though it is awesome to be able to bring your mobile device with you wherever you go, that does not mean betting outside your home makes a lot of sense. It can be hard to concentrate and make profitable decisions when you are running around and other people are constantly interrupting you.
What Mobile Betting is Best For
So you can see that the drawbacks of mobile betting do seem like they outweigh the benefits in most respects. Still, that does not mean that mobile betting is entirely useless. As mentioned previously, it just has more utility as a supplementary method. Here is how I recommend using mobile betting in order to capitalize on its advantages while mitigating its disadvantages:
A backup device. If your desktop or laptop goes down while you are betting, you can use your mobile device to place and monitor your bets (or stream events).
A backup connection. If your broadband goes out while you are betting, you might be able to use your mobile connection instead. You can do this by betting on your mobile device or by using it as a wi-fi hotspot.
Making sure you don’t miss an opportunity if you do need to step out of the house. I do not advise that you do much betting on the go, but there may be situations where there is an awesome opportunity and you just cannot stand to miss it. Or you might be in the midst of betting on an event and get called away unexpectedly. You can grab your mobile and continue to monitor your bets and place new ones as needed.
Conclusion: Betting Entirely on Your Mobile Is Not the Best Idea, But Your Mobile Can Be Very Helpful
If you want to bet on your mobile device, take the advice of the punters in Britain who still are betting largely at home. Do not be tempted by the portability of your smartphone or tablet to start betting in environments where you cannot control and mitigate distractions.
The best place to bet on your mobile device is at home—but the drawbacks of mobile betting mean it still is not the best way to conduct the majority of your betting activities. Stick with your laptop or desktop, and use your mobile device as a backup when you need it.
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