MOBILE AND SOCIAL GAMBLING:
According to the latest Juniper Research study, a surge in social gambling activities along with the introduction of intrastate casino and lottery services in the US, will help push global annual wagers via mobile handsets and tablets to $100 billion by 2017, up from just under $20 billion last year.
Juniper’s ‘Mobile Gambling: Casinos, Lotteries & Betting 2012-2017,’ reports a dramatic increase in betting utilising mobile devices, which in many large UK sportsbooks now accounts for around 20 percent of total business.
As seen in the last two reviews, the trend continues towards the eventual convergence of traditional online, social and mobile gambling channels with the big players spreading their reach and developing across all platforms.
THE MOBILE CHANNEL IN THE ONLINE GAMBLING SECTOR:
Movements in the mobile arena over the review period included:
Camelot UK Lotteries Limited launched the UK National Lottery mobile channel.
Jackpot Factory Group's All Slots Casino launched its mobile channel with an Android Air application compatible with all smartphones and tablets utilising the 2.2 Android operating system version or later.
Sports Interaction mobile casino, powered by Playtech, now offers a new mobile slot facility that includes a selection of blackjack, roulette, and other casino games.
Playtech plc announced the completion of its software agreement with Skywind Holdings Limited, which it says will provide it with a wide range of both social gaming software and real money software, primarily focused on the rapidly expanding social gaming market, but strengthening the company's mobile gaming product range.
Italian gambling operator Sisal inked an agreement for an iOS and Android mobile sports betting service with Playtech's mobile technology subsidiary Mobenga. GVC Holding's South American-facing subsidiary Betboo also selected the firm as its mobile betting supplier of choice.
Betfair opened up its Application Programming Interface (API), providing live data from the Betfair Exchange, to the App developer community through its new App Cloud Service.
The new service will encourage app developers to create new Betfair products encompassing mobile apps, widgets, websites and others, which would be hosted on Betfair's Private App Cloud.
Stockholm-based Cubeia followed up the launch of its Firebase Community Edition – a scalable, enterprise server for multiplayer games – with the release of new software that includes HTML5 support for mobile and tablet applications.
Mobile games developer Realistic Games launched a new suite of iPad, smartphone and PC casino games on behalf of Gibraltar-based online and land bookie BetVictor.com.
Gibraltar-based bookmaking firm Stan James.com also partnered with Realistic Games to expand its mobile gaming offering, launching a new suite of iPad and smartphone games.
Microgaming launched a suite of 11 HTML5 games with ‘swipe and tap' interfacing and rich-featured graphics.
Mobile Stakes, a Dublin-based company that boasts it offers the real-money gaming industry's first cloud-based game streaming platform for online casino games, signed up online casino operator 7Red, who will use the Mobile Stakes platform to bring 7Red.com games to the iPad and smartphones.
The cloud-based Mobile Stakes platform claims it enables online casinos to take popular flash web-based casino and sports betting games directly to mobile devices without any reprogramming or redesign of the game.
Paddy Power improved its mobile betting service through an exclusive deal with the Racing Post which will provide mobile punters with detailed racing content across iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
Cantor Gaming contracted with the Silverton Casino Lodge to provide a race and sportsbook, along with mobile gambling facilities.
Cantor Gaming and Colusa Casino Resort signed an agreement for the provision of a complete ‘on-premises' mobile casino gaming solution at the Resort, Cantor Gaming's first partnership within the California gaming market.
Indiana's Hoosier Park Racing and Casino in downtown Indianapolis said that punters can bet on horse races using hand held devices…and they’ll soon be able to place wagers from their smartphones….but only on the property.
Rank Interactive went live with Cozy Games’ Cozy Connect Mobile Platform, the software designed to integrate third party games with its own unique gaming content.
Australian games content developer Aristocrat Technologies entered into a new partnership agreement with Shuffle Master. Shuffle Master's recent internet poker acquisition Ongame Network Limited will be an important element in the deal, which brings together Aristocrat's nLive iGaming platform with the Ongame internet poker solution.
Interactive gaming solutions provider Betware, together with the Danish state lottery firm Danske Spil, launched a Betware Smartphone Suite including Lotto, Instant and Sports Games.
Finnish state owned lottery operator Veikkaus launched its offering on the Android platform.
A new hosted agnostic mobile gaming platform dubbed AGON from mobile and social games start-up AbZorba Games LLC launched complete with a suite of just-for-fun social casino titles for white label partnerships.
AbZorba Games’ suite under the title "Hub of Fun Casino" includes Live Blackjack21 on Android which it claims to have received 800,000 installations to date, along with Live Poker and Live Roulette for immediate branding. The company intends the launch of Live Bingo and Live Slots in the near future.
Bookmaker Betfred launched a new lottery service through its mobile platform.
Online gambling firm Interwetten expanded into the mobile space with a mobile betting platform accessible at m.interwetten.com.
Canadian horse racing operator Woodbine Entertainment Group launched a new mobile wagering website.
The Swedish mobile platform developer OMI Gaming signed a multi-year agreement with white label provider EveryMatrix that will add variety to the latter's white label proposition in the shape of quality mobile casino and social games.
Real-time mobile betting applications provider Worldlink and BetButler.co.uk signed a partnership agreement with the Ryman League which will see up to 66 amateur football clubs in London and the South East benefit from online gambling operations.
Ramsgate Football Club joined Sunderland RCA Football Club in signing up for a white label mobile betting service from UK-listed Worldlink Group which utilises services from Bet Butler.
Operational applications released:
Nevada-based Leroy's Sportsbook, owned by American Wagering, Inc., released its Leroy's sports betting App for Apple iPad to join a portfolio already containing Android and Blackberry versions.
Bwin.party digital entertainment launched a real money poker app for iPad tablets as well as an iPad app titled "bwin Euroleague Playbook" which provides fans, players and coaches with a source of tactical analysis and interactive content on Europe’s prestigious professional club basketball competition.
PokerStars successful mobile platform for iPhone, iPad and Android devices is expanding through Europe with the client available at PokerStars' French-facing website and other countries playing through PokerStars.eu.
UK-based users of Score Media Inc.'s free live football betting app are now able to bet via their williamhill.com account on Blackberry and iPhone devices with a Windows smartphone option due in the near future.
Zeniz, a social mobile gaming company owned in partnership by The United States Playing Card Company and digi117 launched Casino by Zeniz, a freemium casino app available now for iOS.
Probability plc's popular mobile casino Lady Luck's launched as a downloadable iOS app in the App Store.
Betfred.com entered into a major service supply deal with full-service mobile agency InfoMedia.
Under the terms of the deal, Betfred will in conjunction with InfoMedia insert its odds across applicable services to cover all major sports including football, racing, rugby, tennis and Formula 1.
Rounder Inc signed a licensing agreement for the Invicta Corridor Social Gaming Platform which makes possible the creation of a 3D, user-based, online virtual world that will incorporate social interactions, poker, e-commerce/retail shopping, streaming entertainment, dating, couponing, real world social happenings, and news. Invicta is the brainchild of video game legend Jonathan Eubanks.
Las Vegas From Home.com Entertainment Inc. launched Real Vegas Casino on Facebook offering free casino games.
The introduction of a new contender in the social networking arena named Plumbee. The company was founded by former EA Playfish execs with strong funding from the French venture capital house Idinvest Partners.
Plumbee raised $2.8 million from Paris-based Idinvest Partners and has entered into a long-term strategic partnership with Swedish specialist casino games developer Quickspin AB from Stockholm. Quickspin, founded by former veterans from NetEnt and Unibet will deliver content and consultancy services to Plumbee.
Israeli social gaming start-up Dragonplay will use $14 million in raised venture capital to progress its portfolio of Android and Facebook games, launch on new platforms including iOS, and grow its team and game development capacity. It may also consider studio acquisitions.
American game developer High 5 Games announced the development of a social subsidiary that will focus on the development of games for the online, mobile and social markets.
Social gaming giant Zynga acquired New York-based social game developer OMGPOP, the creators of the cult hit mobile game "Draw Something" and an additional 35 social games, for $210 Million.
Aussie software company Virtual Gaming Worlds presented an innovative game platform that enables the creation and monetisation of virtual casinos in the social gaming environment.
Gibraltar-based Trophy Slots launched on Facebook in beta format. It features slot machines from land based and online casinos with a unique leveling system.
The Santa Monica-based social casino games company Playsino (formerly Titan Gaming) closed on $1.5 million of new funding in a bid to develop as a major casino game publisher on social and mobile platforms.
UK digital video provider Perform Group will launch over 50 sports channels on Facebook to provide fans with international football, tennis and other sports matches.
Seattle-based International Game Technology’s subsidiary Double Down Interactive augmented its major online casino on Facebook with the launch of Texas Hold'em Poker, joining the company’s other poker offering, Omaha Poker.
Double Down Interactive also floated the group's famous online and land gambling slot Da Vinci Diamonds and launched its version of the popular American Idol social gaming slot, within Double Down’s casino on Facebook.
RocketFrog, a social gaming product devised by serial American entrepreneur Brett Calapp, launched a series of multiplayer tournaments for poker, blackjack and slots in which players can set-up multi-player competitions with friends and family on Facebook for prizes.
Las Vegas land gambling giant MGM International Resorts is involved in social gaming start-up Playstudios which was founded by former Wynn exec Andrew Pascal. Ace casino game designer Nicholas Koenig is also involved in the start-up, But MGM's role is apparently largely marketing-oriented.
Playstudios' myVegas app on Facebook is intended as a social gaming destination, where players enjoy games such as Blackjack or slot machines, earning virtual currency and real rewards such as trips to real-world casinos. They can also build their own fantasy version of the Las Vegas Strip in a kind of meta-game. Bet the Farm is one of the games that will be featured – it's a slot machine with an isometric 3D viewpoint. Another is Lost In Time: Jules Verne, a slot machine where once a user reaches a certain level, a bonus round kicks in where objects hidden in a scene can be discovered for reward. The app is currently in beta testing phase.
European social gaming start-up Crowdpark strategically launched a new football game titled "90Live" on Facebook ahead of the Euro 2012 football competition.
The latest Facebook betting app was launched by US company SK Planet under the brand BettingStar, a virtual betting game that enables sports fans to use virtual Facebook currency to bet on real life sporting events and games.
Social network Facebook announced the imminent worldwide launch of its App Center, inviting third party developers to submit their apps for inclusion in the beta phase.
A new social betting concept involving groups of friends relying on each other's soccer savvy and knowledge to win cash was unveiled by Irish start-up BragBet to coincide with the Euro 2012 football championships currently running in Ukraine.
San Francisco-based social gaming giant Zynga launched a team mate for its runaway success products Zynga Poker and Zynga Bingo, in the shape of Zynga Slots.
A collaboration between the Talisman Group and table game technology provider DEQ Systems Corp. saw the launch of DEQ's EZ Baccarat as a free-play app in the social gaming environment.
3D online poker operator PKR launched a new Facebook-friendly app that enables users to select their own fantasy poker team for the World Series of Poker.
A Boylepoker World Series of Poker Fantasy League Facebook App timeously debuted on social network Facebook. The app allows players to pick five of the 180 competing poker pros in the 2012 WSOP tournament, with the winner of the fantasy league in line to win prizes.
The UK Gambling Commission is monitoring the social gaming space in order to assess its impact on gambling licensing.
Launched by Barcelona-based internet and online marketing company Cmedia, Soda Poker.com is a multilingual social free-to-play online poker offering. Basic offering is a freemium website where players register to play-for-free and those who wish to play higher stakes games are invited to purchase into its "premium model" allowing more chips to play at a higher level.
Available in four language options Italian, English, French and Spanish, the site taps in to the social networking environment. It is a sister site to Spanish gambling network MediaGambling which Cmedia acquired in 2007.
US land gambling group Station Casinos will soon launch an online poker site on Facebook under a brand that has historically garnered some unfortunate industry publicity – Ultimate Poker. The choice of name stems from owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta’s involvement in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
The group will use software from its subsidiary Cyberarts – acquired some time ago to power the new product under the aegis of Ultimate Gaming. The company is launching Ultimate Poker as the first step in preparation of a move between social games, such as those on Facebook, and taking cash bets as the company applies for licenses in states destined eventually to legalise online gambling.
The new poker site will leverage UFC’s experience in growing social networks which has seen the company develop an online social audience of 8 million users on Facebook and 2.5 million on Twitter to develop games that cross online platforms, and revealed that a mobile app will be made available later his year. Content on the new site will include online bingo.
A new joint venture company called Catch My Bet Ltd launched a branded TV betting Channel to UK customers on tvcatchup.com offering a range of betting and gaming facilities with live racing and sporting events via computer, iphone, ipad or games console.
Pokerstars launched Boom!, a new software facility allowing players to share poker hands they have played. Boom! will act as a social sharing function for friends, family and followers on Twitter, as well as the wider poker community on Boom Player.com.
Aussie interactive TV application developer Two Way launched a new betting app across Samsung’s range of internet-enabled TVs, smartphones, tablets, Blu-ray players and home theatre systems, working in exclusive conjunction with major Australian operators Sportingbet and Betfair. The app enables punters to make bets via their TV remote controls on all sports events broadcast by free-to-air TV, pay TV, or any form of IPTV.