Online gambling has grown since the beginning of the 21st century, with some setbacks along the way -- when the U.S. government was staunchly opposed to this emerging business. However, both smartphone penetration and software app downloads continue to rise steeply, as more consumers switch to using their mobile devices to carry out Internet-related activities.
Over the next five years, the number of smartphone and/or media tablet owners using their devices to gamble online will increase by 100 million. That means about 164 million people will either place a bet, visit a mobile casino or buy a lottery ticket on their mobile device in 2018.
These findings come from a new market study on mobile gambling, which highlighted that the strongest growth would come from the North American market.
Exploring Remote Gambling Market Development
According to the latest study by Juniper Research, although growth has been slow in the U.S. market since the Department of Justice ruling in 2011, the number of users in the region is expected to pick up sharply from 2014 onward.
This will occur as American states which have not yet fully legislated on remote gambling make progress -- following successful services launching in Nevada and New Jersey.
In addition, inter-state poker, where two players in separate, regulated markets play against each other, is likely to become a reality in the medium term, further driving smartphone and tablet gambling usage.
Online Gamblers will Abandon Legacy Channels
The Juniper study highlighted that the majority of these users would be switching to mobile gambling from desktop services. It attributed this migration to the fact that many features of gambling work better on a mobile device than a PC.
For example, in-play betting on a mobile device does not disrupt a user’s experience when watching a live sports match, and dual-screen options on tablet casino games can enhance the gameplay.
"Mobile can frequently provide a more immersive and convenient gambling experience than a desktop PC or laptop," said Siân Rowlands, research analyst at Juniper Research.
As a result of this, gambling operators have been required to shift the nature of their organization away from legacy services such as telephone betting towards becoming a more mobile internet-oriented company, with the aim of achieving over half of their online revenues from mobile in the next 1-3 years.