Social operators moving to real money will see amounts wagered on mobile casino overtake sportsbook in coming years
Rapid growth in social gaming, coupled with impending US intrastate regulation, will see amounts wagered via smartphones and tablets reach US$100bn (£63.7bn) by 2017, suggests a new report.
Conducted by mobile analyst firm Juniper Research, ‘Mobile Gaming: Casino, Lotteries & Betting 2012 – 2017’ charts the expected growth of mobile gaming, which accounted for $20bn in worldwide amounts wagered last year.
It claims that the current trend, which has seen mobile become an increasingly important revenue stream for leading sportsbooks, will continue. Such assertions have been supported by recent results announcements. In William Hill’s full-year results presentation for 2011, for example, group CEO Ralph Topping revealed the company had set a target of generating 40% of sportsbook revenues from mobile by 2014, while mobile accounted for 38% of total amounts wagered on Paddy Power’s dot.com sportsbook in the company’s results for the first quarter of 2012.
The report also says that the US Department of Justice’s clarification on the Wire Act, announced in December, has “effectively reopened” the US egaming sector and will contribute to also driving further mobile growth.
Despite sportsbook’s leading position in the mobile sector, however the report’s author, Dr Windsor Holden, said casino and games would overtake sportsbook as the key driver of mobile revenue in the coming years due largely to the rapidly expanding social gaming sector: “Social gaming companies such as Zynga are seeking to move from play-for-fun casino games into real money gambling, while pure-play mobile casinos including Probability have begun to integrate with the Facebook mobile platform.
“In this way, consumers will be able to use their social networks to register for casino games, substantially increasing both the reach and engagement of such services,” Holden explained.