Mobile gambling could be a US$30bn industry

5 Nov 2008

A major sea change in operator attitudes towards mobile gambling, changes to legislation and a revolution in handset interfaces could see annual wagers via mobile phones reach US$27.5bn by 2013.

“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,” said Dr Windsor Holden, author of the report by Juniper.

However, the  report noted that, while EU intervention was having some impact on the liberalisation of Europe’s gambling markets, little progress had been made in the potentially lucrative US market, where remote gambling services are still prohibited.

Future Human

It argued that commercial deployments in the US were now unlikely until 2010 at the earliest.

Juniper Research also found that mobile sports betting will comprise the majority of annual wagers over the next five years, although mobile lottery services – which are increasingly being deployed in key Latin American and Asian markets – will gain the highest adoption level, with nearly 400 million users worldwide by the end of the forecast period.

Global gross win from mobile gambling services will rise from just under US$192m in 2008 to US$3.4bn 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, the report said.

By John Kennedy

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