Mobile gambling booms thanks to China

Mobile lotteries in emerging markets dominate short term growth while deregulation of remote gambling also key to future expansion.

A new report published by Juniper Research has found that a combination of mobile casino, lottery and betting service launches in major emerging markets lead by China allied to liberalisation of remote gambling legislation across the US and Europe will see the scale of annual wagers on mobile gambling exceed $48 billion by 2015.

The report studies gambling services on a country by country basis. It finds that, in recent years, the Japan Racing Association’s iPAT service had been responsible for the bulk of global mobile gambling transactions, with casino and betting services in the UK accounting for much of the remainder.

However, the sharp surge in adoption of the mobile lottery service launched by VODone will help propel China into third place in terms of mobile gambling transactions.

Meanwhile, the US market is also poised to see the introduction of its first mobile lottery services. According to report author Dr Windsor Holden: “State lottery providers are anxious to explore new distribution channels, with US lottery sales from traditional outlets in decline. The upshot is that several lotteries are in the latter stages of discussion with mobile technology providers with a view to launching mobile lottery services in 2011.”

In addition, the report observes that impending legislative changes in the US may herald an opportunity for mobile casino operators in the medium term.

Other findings from the Mobile Gambling Markets report include: End users have eschewed multiplayer mobile gambling apps, preferring to multitask while playing ‘snacking’ applications; While Apple has begun to permit gambling apps to be sold via the App Store, the majority of service providers are opting for a brower-based approach.