mobile-demoA new study by Pew Internet, which has analyzed all its 2012 data, points clearly to mobile technology as the usage platform for the future, including for gambling site operators.  According to the study, 31 percent of all adult mobile Internet users consider their phones to be the main way they go online. With all of us glued to our phones like a third arm these days, that’s probably not surprising news.

Demographic Breakdown

Also not too stunning a revelation is the fact that among the 18-29 year old set – considered to be the goldmine for marketers everywhere – 45 percent of those with mobile devices say their phone or tablet is their go-to way to get online.  That percentage declines a bit with each generational grouping: it’s 29 percent for the 30-49 year olds, and only 11 percent for those over 50 (probably because the damned fonts are so small on phones that they can’t make anything out! Or so we’ve heard).

There’s also a correlating income-to-mobile-usage-first revelation in the study; apparently, the higher the income, the less likely people are to use their mobile devices as their first choice for Internet access.  Specifically, those earning over $75K annually were just 21 percent prone to mobile-first usage, versus 43 percent for those bringing home an annual income of $30K or under. For reasons not specified, it appears that black mobile Internet users were more than twice as likely to go mobile first compared to their white counterparts.

Reasons Why

And why the mobile preference?  No huge surprises here from the Pew study either; convenience was the Number One reason given (64 percent), while 18 percent said it fit their lifestyle and online usage habits more readily (we fear that’s the “Tweet from the bathroom” set).  Another 7 percent said a smartphone was all they really needed, followed by 6 percent who said their phones were simply easier to navigate than a traditional laptop or PC. Finally, 10 percent said mobile technology was all they had at their disposal.

Recent Usage Spike

Notably, in just the past few years, mobile device usage has skyrocketted; very possibly because more and more traditional sites have created apps and mobile site versions that operate more fluidly on devices than they used to.  From 2009 to 2012, usage grew by 28% for those who have used their handhelds to browse the net. And no surprise at all that urban users tend to lean more on their mobile devices than those in the ‘burbs or rural areas (where they may or may not even get reliable service).

All the statistics are nice, but they all point in one clear direction: for gambling operators with online casinos or sports betting outfits, make sure your mobile apps are up to snuff, or you’ll be snuffed out as a point of sale.