Raffolux - The Rise of Skill-Based Mobile Gaming

The Rise of Skill-Based Mobile Gaming

The Rise of Skill-Based Mobile Gaming


Mobile gaming is no longer just a pastime; it's an industry that is rapidly evolving to include skill-based games where players can earn real money. This paradigm shift is transforming the landscape of the gaming industry, with an increasing number of players drawn to the possibility of turning their gaming skills into a profitable venture.

The Evolution of the Gaming Industry

The gaming industry has witnessed unprecedented growth over the years. In 2021 alone, the global gaming market boasted a user base of 3 billion and generated a whopping $180 billion in revenue. The most remarkable part? Mobile gaming contributed to over half of this revenue, according to reports by Newzoo.

With the rise of esports, the gaming industry has become more than just a source of entertainment—it's a platform for competition and skill demonstration. The global esports market was valued at over $1 billion in 2021, marking a 50% increase from the previous year. Moreover, viewer statistics from Statista revealed that esports events attracted over 465 million viewers, generating over $1 billion in revenue.

From Chance to Skill: The Turning Point

While games of chance have their own appeal, the rise of skill-based games is a testament to the desire for a more engaging and rewarding gaming experience. A game of skill is one where the outcome is largely dependent on a player's abilities, strategic thinking, and knowledge of the game. On the other hand, the outcome of a game of chance relies heavily on luck and randomization.

The distinguishing factor between skill-based games and games of chance is particularly significant when money is involved. While gambling also involves monetary bets, the outcome is predominantly based on chance. In contrast, skill-based games provide a pay-to-earn scenario, where the outcomes are largely dependent on the player's skill, thus differentiating them from gambling.

The Impact of Mobile Devices

With the advent of mobile devices, a plethora of skill-based games have come to the fore. These range from casual games like Bejeweled 2, Luxor, and Cubis to esports games like Call of Duty and Modern Warfare. Consequently, most states have distinguished between games of chance and skill-based games in their laws, with many reevaluating their stance on skill-based gaming.

For instance, Maryland, which once prohibited pay-to-play competitions regardless of the game type, approved the eSports Act in April 2019, allowing sponsors to award cash or other prizes to esports competition winners.

Online Store Policies: A Game Changer

The policies of online stores like the Google Play Store and the Apple Store have also played a crucial role in shaping the landscape of skill-based gaming. Google Play Store's policies recently underwent changes, permitting gambling and betting across Android apps using real money. Both the Apple Store and Samsung are now open to real-money, skill-based gaming apps, given that they meet specific guidelines and licensing requirements.

Technological Advances in the Realm of Social Competition

Over the years, technology has played a key role in transforming popular casual, social casino, and sports games into leading skill-based games. This includes games like Solitaire Clash and Bingo Tour, which have consistently ranked among the top three most downloaded apps in their respective categories.

Companies offering skill-based games in the U.S. must ensure compliance with the laws of each state, which typically employ one of three tests to determine the degree of skill involved in a game:

  • The Dominant Factor Test
  • The Material Element Test
  • The Any Chance Test

These tests assess whether skill or chance plays a significant role in determining the game's outcome. Apart from ensuring that a game meets the skill-based criteria, operators also need to ensure that players of similar skill levels are matched accordingly to maintain fairness.

The Future of Skill-Based Gaming

With the mobile gaming market showing no signs of slowing down and player spending predicted to reach $138 billion by 2025, according to SensorTower, the future of skill-based gaming looks promising. The leaders in this space will distinguish themselves by providing unique offerings and engaging gaming experiences, backed by advanced technology and AI.


In conclusion, the rise of skill-based gaming is a testament to the evolving landscape of the gaming industry. As more players seek rewarding and engaging gaming experiences, the potential for growth in this space is enormous.