Annual Wagers on Mobile Casinos and Poker to Exceed 60bn
A new report from Juniper Research has found that annual wagers via mobile handsets and tablets on casino-type gambling and poker games are expected to reach 62 billion USD globally by 2018, a sixfold increase on the 10 billion USD wagered last year.
According to the report, the primary driver will be legalisation of selected online gambling services in the previously untapped US market, which is expected to see a host of service launches over the next five years.
The report – Mobile Gambling: Casinos, Lotteries & Betting 2013-2018 – argued that successful mobile casino launches in US markets such as Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, will prompt other states – those currently adopting a ‘wait-and-see’ stance – to begin legislating for online/mobile gambling. Furthermore, service providers that enter the US market will be required to optimise gambling solutions for mobile users from the outset, given the large appetite for content on handsets/tablets which already exists in this market.
Free-to-Play Games Reveal Demand
The report found that, globally, gambling operators have also been spurred to develop sophisticated mobile casino solutions by the success of free-to-play mobile casino games. Although these games do not serve as direct competitors to real-money gambling providers, they have demonstrated how immersive games such as slots and poker can be on a mobile device.
Furthermore, despite the fact that consumers cannot win money on these titles, several – including Big Fish Casino, Poker by Zynga and Slotomania – are amongst the highest grossing games on Apple’s App Store through consumer purchases of virtual currency.
Mobile Lottery Market Stagnates
Juniper found little evidence that lotteries were keen to expand to mobile. Report author Siân Rowlands stated that ‘Lack of competition in the lottery space has meant that there has been little incentive to innovate. Realistically, only if retail outlet ticket sales slump will providers be incentivised to push distribution through online and mobile channels.’
The ‘Mobile Gambling ~ A Smart Bet’ whitepaper is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full report.
Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.