Growing adoption of mobile gambling games including slot machines and the interest paid by players like Ladbrokes and Coral to the genre could see mobile casino revenues hit US$5bn by 2012, a new report claims.
Market deregulation, greater 3G coverage and adoption and the availability of intuitive mobile gambling products have been labelled as major drivers for the sector by research firm Juniper.
According to Juniper, while adoption of mobile casino services is currently low, average monthly wager levels have already exceeded US$100 in several markets.
“Many online casinos are now moving into the mobile environment, while bookmakers such as Ladbrokes and Coral have partnered with leading applications providers to launch own brand mobile casinos,” said report author Dr Windsor Holden.
“Furthermore, the recent success of casino products from mobile-focused companies such as Probability demonstrates the latent demand for these kinds of services,” Holden said.
Holden cautions against over-optimism, observing that in some markets, including the US, remote casinos are prohibited.
“While it is possible – even probable – that we will see some form of regulatory reform that will permit location-based, mobile casino services in the US by the end of the decade, casino services – mobile, online or otherwise – are illegal in a number of territories and are likely to remain so for some time,” said Holden.
“Given the stringent penalties that can be imposed on unlicensed service providers, those wishing to deploy casino-based or other gambling services must ensure strict compliance with local legislation.”
According to the report, global gross win from mobile casino services will rise from less than US$5m in 2007 to US$133m in 2012.
The UK currently accounts for more than 60pc of total wagers on mobile casino services, although this proportion is likely to fall to less than 20pc by 2012 as adoption accelerates elsewhere.
By John Kennedy