UK Drives Recession-Proof Mobile Gambling Market

February 24, 2009

Gambling via mobile phones continues to perform strongly and – strengthened by bettors in the UK – is expected to reach $3.6 billion worldwide in 2009, according to a report from Juniper Research.

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Despite the global recession, total wagers placed on mobile phones will more than double this year, while user spending on mobile TV and mobile games will be adversely impacted by the global economic downturn, Juniper said.

“Gambling is essentially a recession-proof industry, as while there may be marginal reductions in the level of stakes amongst casual users, the overall appetite for gambling per se will be unaffected,” said report author Windsor Holden. “With the growing availability of betting services on-portal, the mobile is an increasingly convenient and user-friendly means of placing a bet.”

The fifth edition of the study, “Mobile Gambling: Casinos, Lotteries and Betting,” also reveals that an overwhelming majority of leading European bookmakers now offer some form of betting service on the mobile platform, with several having partnered with leading network operators.

Regulatory Issues Impede Mass Adoption

Regulatory restrictions remain a key impediment to mass adoption, even in countries where mobile betting services are permitted, the report said, recommending that national and state governments put in place a clear and transparent framework governing all forms of mobile gambling services for the benefit of both consumers and service providers.

Other report findings:

  • Mobile betting will account for 75% of all gambling on mobile handsets in 2008, with casino-type gambling the second-largest sector.
  • The UK alone will account for more than 30% of bets placed in 2008, although this proportion will decline to just 8% by 2013 due to increased deployment of services elsewhere.
  • Global gross win from mobile betting services is expected to exceed $1 billion annually by 2012.

About the research: Juniper Research assessed the current and future state of the mobile gambling market based on interviews, case studies and analysis from high-level representatives of organizations in the mobile gambling industry.

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