Legalisation in the USA to Push Mobile Gambling Revenues Past $60 Billion by 2018

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Annual wagers via mobile handsets and tablets on casino type gambling and poker games are expected to reach $62 billion globally by 2018, a sixfold increase on the $10 billion wagered last year.

According to Juniper Research, the primary driver will be legalisation of selected online gambling services in the previously untapped USA market, which is expected to see a host of service launches over the next five years.

The report argued that successful mobile casino launches in US markets such as Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, will prompt other states - those currently adopting a 'wait-and-see' stance - to begin legislating for online/mobile gambling. Furthermore, service providers that enter the US market will be required to optimise gambling solutions for mobile users from the outset, given the large appetite for content on handsets/tablets which already exists in this market.

Free-to-Play Games Reveal Demand

The report found that, globally, gambling operators have also been spurred to develop sophisticated mobile casino solutions by the success of free-to-play casino games. Although these games do not serve as direct competitors to real-money gambling providers, they have demonstrated how immersive games such as slots and poker can be on a mobile device.

Furthermore, despite the fact that consumers cannot win money on these titles, several - including Big Fish Casino, Poker by Zynga and Slotomania - are amongst the highest grossing games on Apple's App Store through consumer purchases of virtual currency.

Mobile Lottery Market Stagnates

Juniper found little evidence that lotteries were keen to expand to mobile. Report author Siān Rowlands stated that 'Lack of competition in the lottery space has meant that there has been little incentive to innovate. Realistically, only if retail outlet ticket sales slump will providers be incentivised to push distribution through online and mobile channels.'

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Tags: mobile gambling 

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