Flash Player is dying. A staple of internet browsing since the 90s, it's become an increasing security risk as the years have gone on. Even Adobe, it's own creator, released a security announcement for users of the plug in to uninstall Flash Player.
You may wonder what all this has to do with mobile casinos. Well, Flash Player was one of the earliest plug ins that allowed for complex visuals to be displayed on web pages. It heralded video, animations and most notably, online casino games. So when Flash goes, what will happen to all your mobile casino games.
What is Flash Player?
Flash, also known as Flash Player and Macromedia Flash Player (but I think we'll stick with Flash), is software which allows the use of rich media; such as video and online games. You may cast your memories far back to the 90s, when the internet was significantly blander than it is today.
The reason why the internet was mostly text and simple images, was because that was the only way to display things on webpages. There was no software available to display the kind of complicated displays we see now. Flash solved that issue and became the lead platform to develop website multimedia on.
Mobile Casinos & Flash Player
As you can imagine, all those fancy slots at your mobile casino run on something. That something is usually Flash Player. We say usually because there have been some competitors to Flash Player in the recent past. Microsoft Silverlight came and went. HTML 5 is currently in the running to replace it.
But Flash Player is the bedrock that most mobile casinos and other multimedia have been built on. It was just around the earliest and was the simplest to build for, which made it so good for mobile casinos to build off of.
Problems With Flash
Imagine Flash Player is like asbestos. So cheap and easy to produce, it was the leading go to material for home insulation. Then decades later we find out it causes lung cancer. An extreme example, but not so different to this situation.
Flash Player simply is just too vulnerable for widespread use. Its code is fundamentally easy to break into, which means many people skilled enough can use it to disable or take control of systems using it. Flash Player has even been responsible for many more notable hacks that have occurred as of late, because a very simple gateway into a computer network.
When even the creators are telling you to remove it, you know it can't be good.
Passing The Problems To Mobile Casinos
Because of these security flaws, it's obviously not best to have them around places where you and many others are depositing millions of pounds all year round. Flash Player needs to be replaced by something else.
In fact, many browsers are dropping support of it. Mozilla Firefox has dropped it completely and Google Chrome only allows older versions to be used since it has stopped updating its browser with newer versions.
With all these browsers dropping support for the very thing which powers your mobile casino, then those casinos will soon be unusable.
Of course there is a solution to the whole issue. HTML 5, which we mentioned earlier is the leading platform that's likely to replace Flash. The specifics aren't important, but it effectively does the same thing and is built into all browsers.
What This Means For Mobile Casinos
The problem is, mobile casinos will have to update their games to run with HTML 5. This isn't an impossible feat, but it will cost money to do. The mobile casinos can only hold out as long as your browser will support Flash, which given the widespread hate of it, won't be very long.
The bigger mobile casinos have either already updated their games to work with HTML 5, or will do so before crunch time. But some online casinos may simply not have the funds to do so, or simply just not be ahead of the curve enough.
Some online casinos may even ask their game providers to foot the bill of development, which if they refuse, could mean a lot of your favourite classics may be disappearing from your mobile casino.
The future looks good for the most part. We know that casinos like Spin Genie have already invested in HTML 5 proofing their casino. Many others have also done so, since iPhones, iPads and Androids haven't supported Flash in a long time.
But there are still some games that haven't made the transition. Most probably will to avoid going obsolete, but if certain games are quite old and have only middling support, they may very well be left to die.
So in the next few months, if your games start disappearing from your casinos, this is the reason why.