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The Platform Duel: Web vs. Mobile in iGaming

Every year, we see increasing numbers of online gaming operators adding mobile platforms – giving players the ability to play anywhere, anytime – rather than be confined to a particular location.

We were interested in understanding how this emerging trend affects player behavior and activity. My team of data scientists ran the numbers and discovered some valuable insights. Here’s what we found…

Web Bets are Higher and More Frequent

In order to first gain understanding of betting activity on a macro level, we examined bets across all platforms, regardless of a player’s platform preference.

Out of the total number of bets placed, across the board, 86% are placed via the Web; the rest are placed via mobile. Moreover, out of the total amount wagered, 84% are placed via the Web, whereas mobile bets account for the rest. In other words, 6.1X more bets are placed, and 5.3X more money is wagered, via the Web.

Strong Player Preference for the Web

Our research found that 66% of player activity occurs on the Web, while only 16% of players prefer mobile (18% have no particular preference). For the purposes of our research, we defined mobile or Web players as those who conduct at least 95% of their activity using either mobile or the Web. Mobile activity includes both phones and tablets, whereas Web activity includes PCs and laptops. Based on this definition, the average player is 4.4X more likely to play exclusively via the Web.

Web Players are More Engaged

A mobile player typically plays two days a month, as opposed to three days a month for a typical Web player, meaning that Web players are 1.5X more engaged.

Furthermore, a mobile player typically places 10 bets a day, whereas a Web player typically places 14. In other words, Web players place 40% more bets on an average day.

Web and Mobile Players Wager Activity

Comparing number of bets placed and amounts wagered for the two types of players, our research was inconclusive; there was a very high variation between the observations, yielding statistically insignificant results. In other words, unfortunately, we can’t tell you much about how platform preference effects wager activity.

New Web Players Have Higher Survival Rates

Our research found that 65% of Web players remain active 30 days after their first day of activity, in contrast to only 52% of mobile players. In other words, new Web players are 25% more likely to remain active than mobile players.

Mobile is Climbing

Even though the statistics presented above point out that Web activity is significantly stronger, mobile is gradually climbing. Our research found an average of 2% monthly growth in mobile’s share of overall activity.

Insights and Conclusions

Leaving aside platform preference and examining activity across the board, our research found that more bets and higher wager amounts are placed via the Web.

In addition, our research outcomes suggest that significant differences exist between Web and mobile players, and that these differences showed that Web players are more valuable in terms of activity, frequency and survival rates. In other words, Web players play more frequently and for longer periods. A comparison of wager activity on the two platforms, however, proved inconclusive.

So why the craze over mobile? It turns out that our data consistently showed a significant overall increase in mobile use over time. For the moment, Web players dominate the online gaming market. It may just be a matter of time, however, before the two platforms balance out – or we might even see mobile outperform the Web completely.


The above research is based on a comparison between a selection of a dozen online gaming operators over a 12-month time period. Only statistically significant results are presented. Mobile activity includes player activity performed on a mobile device (smartphone or tablet), whether using the device’s Web browser or native apps. Web activity include player activity performed in a Web browser on a desktop or laptop computer.

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Yohai Sabag

Yohai heads up Optimove’s data lab. He is a top-tier data guru with extensive experience applying the fields of business intelligence and advanced data analytics to practical business challenges. Yohai holds a master’s degree in machine learning and information systems.