According to a new report from Juniper Research total annual wagers via mobile phones are set to reach more than USD 27.5 billion by 2013. Among the key factors for this are a 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.
Report author Dr Windsor Holden said „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.“
The report also acknowledge that while EU intervention was having some impact on the liberalization 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.
What the report failed to mention however is the fact that a number of companies have already launched mobile betting platforms for their US based customers. The New York Racing Association recently announced a deal with Sona allowing its customers to place bets via a Blackberry or iPhone, with additional platforms to be added in future. Youbet.com also announced a deal in November with Phantom Fiber to offer its customers a mobile betting service through a broad range of handsets.
According to Juniper, mobile sports betting will comprise the majority of annual wagers over the next five years, while mobile lottery services which are being increasingly deployed in key Latin American and Asian markets will attain the highest adoption level, with nearly 400 million users worldwide by the end of the forecast period.