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February 20, 2017

Taco Bell was one of the first companies that let people order on an app. What they found is shaping the mobile consumer experience.

Bloomberg Business Week reported, when Taco Bell introduced a food-ordering app last year, the chain figured it could speed up service for customers and cut down on wrong orders, so the next time you ask for a chicken soft taco you won’t wind up with a bean burrito.

What Taco Bell didn’t know was how much extra food Americans order when they do so from the privacy of their smartphones. “You don’t want to say large or order extra cheese—you look like a pig,” says Hope Neiman, chief marketing officer at Tillster, a company that helped develop the app. “But if I’m sitting here tapping, who cares?”

That’s why Taco Bell’s Live Más app, available for its 6,000 U.S. restaurants, has been downloaded more than 3 million times. Customers who use it also spend more than $10 on an average order—about 20 percent more than those who order in person, says Taco Bell.

What Taco Bell found is a key insight, and has far reaching implications.

When people are allowed the opportunity to make purchase decisions from the privacy and comfort of their own cell phone, they begin to indulge more.

As the marketplace begins to take advantage of consumer preference towards their mobile devices, the gaming industry has been investing heavily in how to leverage mobile.

According to Now, the amount of bets placed on mobile devices is said to hit $100 billion, with 164 million people using mobile devices to visit a mobile casino, place a bet or purchase a lottery ticket. By 2018 the mobile gambling industry is set to take 40% of the total online gambling market. This growth has proven the vitality of mobile apps for the betting industry with so many customers being able to bet from the comfort of their own homes.

And with comfort comes danger. For many, when no one is watching, it is much harder to make responsible choices. Chasing your losses or gambling irresponsibly becomes easier when you can deposit extra money into your account with the swipe of your finger.

Technology has changed the way gambling happens. As technology continues to evolve, there will undoubtedly be new ways to gamble, often making it easier and more engaging.

During the month of March, the FCCG participates in Problem Gambling Awareness Month. Gambling addiction is a public health concern that affects millions of Americans, both directly and indirectly, each year.

Take a moment out of your day and learn what #PGAM is and how you can be part of the conversation!