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Inside the Mind of the Player: Understanding Mobile Gaming Behavior


Get to know more about what gamers have in mind. Today we deep dive into mobile gaming behavior, who the gamers are, what they have in common with bettors, and also what tools might be useful for mobile game creators. All proved with an abundance of statistics!

Let’s examine the nature of mobile video games and betting together.

Sports betting and gaming – how did it all start?

Sports betting has a long history that goes way back to ancient times. Thousands of years ago, people were betting on the outcomes of chariot races or bare-knuckle fights, much like how individuals today bet on various sports events. 

💡 Records in Ancient China show that gambling was a common practice, and there were even laws to control its spread. 

In the mid-20th century in the UK, the law allowed betting shops to open legally across the country. It brought a wave of new betting shops focusing on horse racing and greyhounds. 

The introduction of the Premier League and Sky TV later brought football betting to the forefront, a change that intensified with the arrival of the internet

Online betting started somewhat chaotically but soon became the preferred choice for many. It makes it a convenient way to bet from home. With time, the online betting industry grew, with regulated and licensed operators that provide bettors with a wide range of sports betting options.

Trends and statistics of sports betting and mobile gaming

Not quite sure what the betting and sports industry look like? We’ve collected all the necessary data. 

The general numbers

  • there are 9.5 billion online bettors in the US
  • and 1.1 billion online gamers worldwide   
  • Games generated over $159.3 billion in revenues in 2020

More numbers below! ⬇️

Market size and demographics

To give you a broader look at the size of sports betting, the global betting market was valued at around 203 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. But when more regions legalize it, it’s very probable that this number is projected to grow. 

💡 According to previous studies, the sports betting and lottery market size reached 194.63 billion U.S. dollars.

Look at the age breakdown of adults who bet on sports in December 2021 in the US


What is the difference between gaming and iGaming?

Gaming is playing video games using consoles such as PlayStation or Xbox, on PCs, and on mobile devices. These games are a form of entertainment – they take you on adventures, and you can test your skills in different scenarios or compete in virtual sports. People of all ages enjoy gaming. Both a child playing a cartoon-based game and adults indulging in strategy games, they all have some sort of mobile gaming behavior. 

💡 Expect from mobile phones traditional game players also use portable consoles, hybrid consoles, or handheld consoles to play traditional video games. 

iGaming is betting but done online. It covers activities such as poker, sports betting, online casinos, and lotteries. This involves risking money on an uncertain outcome with the hope of winning more money. It’s reserved for adults, as it’s a form of a game that carries financial risks. 

Why compare those two fields together while mobile gaming? Well, they’ve got quite a bit in common, and are important for mobile gaming behavior. 

What do gamers and iGamers have in common? 


Both groups share the entertainment aspect and the thrill that comes from the winning aspect. Many of the players like the idea of playing and betting from home or really anywhere, thanks to mobile technology.

Many options to choose from

Gamers and iGamers also have a variety of options to choose from. Gamers have access to all kinds of video games across different genres: action, adventure, puzzle, to name a few. Also, iGamers have numerous options, such as online poker, slots, or sports betting.


Both are driven by the element of challenge. Playing video games or hitting the jackpot online – doesn’t metter. Their goal is to win and compete.


On top of that, they both experience communities in the online space, where they share ideas, tips, and experiences and form bonds with others.

🥜 In a nutshell: gamers and iGamers, while indulging in different activities, do share a common ground in seeking entertainment, challenge, and community in the online world.

What are player personas?

Some of the types are also true for iGaming players.

👱 The strategist

It is someone who thinks deeply about every move they make. 

They’ve got impressive knowledge about different game genres and betting processes they often spend time researching strategies and learning from previous studies to improve their gameplay. 

They might focus on educational aspects that challenge the mind or dive deep into complex multiplayer online games that take a lot of strategy. This type of gamer seeks out experiences that give them a mental challenge and appreciates complex and detailed games.

👱 The casual player

Hyper-casual players opt for games that don’t take a lot of time to play. 

Mobile phones are their go-to device for a quick gaming session during a break or while waiting for a bus. Casual players prioritize fun and relaxation over competition. They often choose games that don’t induce much psychological distress (a game like this is also called a hyper-casual game). 

Mobile gaming is heavily influenced by demographic variables, and game developers often target it with products.

👱 The high-roller

A player who isn’t afraid to invest in their game is regarded as a “high roller.” 

They’re ready to spend more to get the full experience from their favorite games. It may give them a thrilling adventure with the chance of earning big rewards, but it also comes with risks.

These players might face some negative effects coming from their mobile gaming behavior, including losing a lot of money or facing mobile gaming addiction. 

That’s why it’s important for them to play responsibly and be aware of the risks they’re taking (will be taking about them soon). Those who create games must also keep an eye on this and make sure gaming stays fun and safe.

These are only the general types of gamers. You can encounter names like mixed-platform gamers, casual gamer, hardcore gamer, midcore gamer, as well as self-identified gamers, or handheld gamers. All of them might have various characteristics of their mobile gaming behavior. 

💡 Check out what game types are chosen most often by Millennials.


How does playing games and betting affect your brain?

Mobile games, as well as betting, may influence how you think and how you think, solve problems and your perception in general. Check out the details:

Decision-making processes

The main part of online gaming and betting is making decisions. Online players base their decision-making process on behavioral intention and navigate mobile gaming products, sometimes leaning towards app purchases or even, unfortunately, giving in to mobile game addiction.

According to a report from the Journal of Gambling Studies, many bettors analyze the recent form of the teams or players before deciding on their bets. It’s important that the bets are not considered outdated. 

However, it’s not always the case. Playing online games or betting requires players to make quick decisions. Which might be a positive asset in real life. 💪🏻  

Risk and reward mindset

Losing, as well as winning, is a permanent part of a gaming experience. People need to deal with their emotions in both of those situations. Gamers using mobile devices (but not only) often have to weigh potential gains vs. possible downsides, no matter how casual or intense the game is.

For instance, a player may find an app or game purchase option that promises a better gaming experience with more fun features or advantages. But there might be a problem there. Regular purchases may trigger a bad habit of mobile gaming. 

🧑‍⚕️ Game developers and public health officials are always working to maintain a balance. They promote enjoyment, but they also point out that spending too much time playing has negative effects on mental health.

Emotional responses

A win very often brings a rush of joy, and a loss might cause frustration. But not only, it’s only the tip of the emotional iceberg.

The interplay of risk and reward perception in online games and betting scenarios intensifies these feelings. And while playing and betting, they learn how to manage their emotions and control their mobile gaming behavior. 

The mobile emotions build a rich and engaging mobile gaming experience. Still, it is vital for mobile gamers well-being to engage in gaming mindfully, aware of the potential for negative consequences such as distress.

Public health experts and developers emphasize the importance of a balanced approach to gaming. Playing responsibly ensures that gaming remains a source of entertainment rather than a source of stress. Thus, it is beneficial to understand the emotional roller coaster that games might offer and approach them.

Mobile gaming habits and routines

All of the gamers are different, but some of them share the same habits.

The usage of betting apps

The betting apps are packed with features to make betting easier. Users can place bets from anywhere with just mobile phones and an internet connection. The apps are often user-friendly as they offer real-time bets, adding a layer of excitement to the betting process. 

Frequency of play 

You probably see people commuting to work or school or waiting for a bus playing Candy Crush. But how often do they play? 

In the U.S., 49% of adults play mobile games at least once a week or more. And  31% of teen gamers play games every day.

Duration of gaming sessions

In 2022, the average mobile gaming time lasted 20 to 30 minutes. That’s the optimal time for, let’s say, traditional gamers. There are people who play longer and more intense. 

Time of day preferences

Nighttime is more popular for playing on a smart phone than daytime. Female gamers play at night more often than men, though. But coming back to Candy Crush playing while commuting, mobile gamers play twice as many games while relaxing at home as they do while working or traveling, especially women. Gaming during homework is popular as well.

Negative consequences of mobile games

There are two sides of the same coin, though. Mobile gaming, when done wrong, may have negative consequences. Here are a few of them: 

  • internet gaming disorder (IGD)
  • online gaming addiction (mobile video game addiction as well as internet gaming addiction)
  • poor sleep quality 
  • problems with social interaction
  • aggressive behavior due to violent games (and other mental health outcomes)

Check out the future studies for mobile gaming.

Popular platforms for mobile gamers

If you play games, you probably know these mobile platforms!

01 Roblox

Roblox is more than a game. It’s a platform where users create their own games and experiences. It’s a space where both advanced and casual gamers may use their creativity to the fullest. The simplicity of Roblox makes it a go-to platform for many. Some regard Roblox as one of the educational games.


02 Twitch

Twitch is where gamers go to watch other people play games. Viewers have the chance to watch the experts at play, pick up tips, and interact with them through a chat. It’s not just for gamers. Almost every type of content, along with music and art streams, is being posted on Twitch.



On the platform, developers can share and receive feedback on their games, many of which are experimental or still in development. It’s a hub of innovation where niche, unconventional titles find a loving audience.


04 YouTube

Game lovers also may find YouTube a valuable platform as it offers game-related content, from walkthroughs to reviews. Gamers may stay informed and entertained. Many people go there to watch ‘Let’s Play’ videos – they watch others play through games and then share the joy and frustrations in the comments. 


05 AppGameKit Mobile

AppGameKit Mobile simplifies the game development process, providing an accessible entry point for budding developers. Mobile gamers benefit indirectly from this platform – it encourages more people to create games, potentially leading to a more diversified mobile gaming market.


06 EA Games

EA Games acts as a digital storefront. It serves to sell games from various developers. There are also social features that connect gamers globally and strengthen friendships and community building.


07 Amazon Luna

Amazon Luna is a cloud gaming service, and gamers stream games rather than download them. There’s no need to worry about storage space on one’s device. It promises high-quality gaming experiences with the comfort of playing on a device of the user’s choice, bringing a sense of freedom to gaming.


But we’ve got one more platform that may change mobile gaming.

Discover the Xtremepush difference in iGaming and mobile gaming

Ever wondered what it takes to transform casual visitors into loyal players? 

Xtremepush may help you with that. Real-time data, a touch of AI, and a dash of gamification are all provided.

The platform features a suite of tools to get highly personalized player experiences. 

What does it mean? 

It’s a chance to break down data silos and really get to know your players — predicting life cycles, triggering retention strategies, and the gamification suite. These are the aspects that bring a refreshing twist to their gaming journey.

If you want to inform gamers about breaking news or product updates, it’s also an option at Xtremepush. Drive bet velocity and retention through in-play campaigns triggered by live sporting events.

Read the case study on how push notifications changed the betting game at Paddy Power Betfair. Let the numbers speak for themselves. 

Now you know everything about mobile gaming behavior

If you have your own mobile game and want to support gamers, use Xtremepush. It’s a platform that both brands and gamers will appreciate. Acquire, engage, and retain customers at ease!

Contact Xtremepush and get a demo to see this platform in action. 🔥


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