Smartphone gambling a sure bet at 2 million users and rising

6 Oct 2010

User numbers in the European mobile gambling sector are tipped to surge 60pc this year, thanks to the rise and rise of smartphones and clever apps from firms like Betfair and Paddy Power.

Consumer smartphone adoption has been a major driver in a resurgent European mobile gambling sector, with user numbers expected to rise by more than 60pc in 2010, a new report from Juniper Research has found.

Mobile betting services across the region have been particularly successful, with more than 2 million sports book customers in Europe now using the mobile to place their bets.

According to the report, leading betting firms have reported dramatic increases in mobile bets placed following the launch of browser-based apps optimised for the iPhone and Android operating systems.

Furthermore, the decision by Apple to allow selected native apps – such as those from BetFair and Paddy Power – to be offered on the App Store has provided service providers with a new, highly visible and potentially lucrative delivery channel.

Meanwhile, the Juniper report noted that both adoption and usage levels received a further fillip during the World Cup in June, with Ladbrokes taking more than 100,000 bets via the mobile on the tournament.

“The last 12 months or so have provided optimal growth conditions for mobile gambling services,” said Dr Windsor Holden.

“With the growth in consumer smartphone adoption, mobile users are becoming far more comfortable with m-commerce in general, and gambling companies are benefiting from this greater affinity,” Holden said.

Mobile betting accounted for more than 70pc of total global mobile gambling wagers in 2009, with the vast majority coming from the well-established iPAT service in Japan.

The US is likely to become a key market in the medium term, with the launch of mobile lottery services from 2011 onwards.

Betfair app

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years