A sea-change in operator attitudes towards mobile gambling services, improvements to handset user interfaces and the gradual introduction of legislation 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 $27.5bn by 2013, according to a new report from Juniper Research.
According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, "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."
However, the Juniper 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. 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 being increasingly deployed in key Latin American and Asian markets - will attain the highest adoption level, with nearly 400m 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 $192m in 2008 to $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