A sea-change in operator attitudes towards mobile gambling services, improvements to handset user interfaces and the gradual introduction of legalization permitting remote gambling in selected markets are among the key factors which are expected to push total annual wagers via mobile phones to more than $27.5 billion by 2013, according to a new report from Juniper Research.
Report author Dr Windsor Holden writes: “[Online gambling] operators are demonstrably much more open to the idea of mobile gambling than they were even 12-18 months ago, both in terms of offering gambling services on-portal and accepting advertising from gambling companies.”
On the negative side of the equation, while European Union free-market intervention was having some impact on the liberalisation of Europe’s gambling markets, little progress has been made in the potentially lucrative US market, where remote gambling services are still prohibited. Juniper argues that that commercial deployments in the US are now unlikely until 2010 at the earliest.
The research firm also found that mobile sports betting will comprise the majority of annual wagers over the next five years, although mobile lottery services – which are being increasingly deployed in key Latin American and Asian markets – will attain the highest adoption level, with nearly 400 million users worldwide by the end of the forecast period.
Other findings from the report include:
* Global gross win from mobile gambling services will rise from just under $192 million in 2008 to $3.4 billion by 2013.
* In terms of total wager, Western Europe will remain the largest regional mobile gambling market throughout the forecast period, although the relative contribution of the UK will decline significantly with the deployment of more services in continental Europe
* Gambling service providers should deploy text-based gambling services in developing markets to encourage mass adoption
Juniper Research assesses the current and future status of the mobile gambling market based on interviews, case studies and analysis from representatives of some of the leading organisations in the growing mobile gambling industry.