UK MOBILE GAMBLING ON THE RISE

onlineWhile it may be difficult to determine some of the trends in gambling in general and in the UK market in particular, one thing is certain: mobile gaming is growing stronger year after. A recent industry report has underscored that trend, pointing to the growth of mobile gaming in the UK amid dropping numbers of traditional online play.

The report was recently published by OddsWinner.com which looked into the online and mobile revenues of the UK’s leading bookmakers. The report studied five of the UK’s top bookmakers analysing their mobile growth, marketing campaigns and in-play betting services.

The report findings suggest that William Hill, the largest gambling operator in the UK, has seen the biggest growth in revenue coming from mobile players. The bookmaker reported that year-on-year revenues for mobile gaming had increased by as much as 298 percent from 2012 to 2013. Live casino games are available on mobile platforms but are not considered to be taking a significant part of the revenue composition.

Other companies saw lower yet dramatic rates of mobile growth. Paddy Power saw a 112 percent increase in mobile revenue last year, while Betfair reported that mobile activity had jumped 64 percent year-on-year. Bet365 said that half of its customers now came from mobile devices.

OddsWinner attributes the growth in mobile gaming to several factors, one of them being the higher smart phone usage in the UK, with data showing that over half of the population in the country owned a smart phone in 2013. In addition, the increasing market share of the mobile internet also means that more customers are now accessing gaming services through their mobile devices.

Another factor is the advance of smart phone technology which enables casinos to launch their own mobile betting sites and apps. Other factors include the rise in interest for in-play betting on sports, as well as more focused mobile-centric marketing campaigns by the major UK bookmakers.

“Smart phones can now deliver the services required to allow customers to bet on the move,” Sean Bowen, chief executive of Push Technology told OddsWinner in an interview. “We carry them everywhere and therefore can bet at anytime, anywhere. There are more people with mobiles than PCs.”

And while mobile gaming seems to be on the rise in the UK, another report by the UK Gambling Commission recently pointed to fewer residents gambling in 2013 than in 2012. The report however did not cover mobile gaming which looks set to continue its growth in the coming years.

MOBILE DEVICES SEEN BOOSTING NEW JERSEY GAMING

SEGA-Playing-with-New-Mobile-Ad-Partner-300x225Internet gambling analysts and casino executives expect the increased use of mobile devices to boost New Jersey’s gaming industry with the use of gambling through phones and other mobile devices likely to increase greatly in the current year.

In a move underscoring this expectation, an Atlantic City-based casino recently introduced additional mobile gaming applications for Android devices connected to WiFi as well as to 3G and 4G networks for its online sites. The move came after New Jersey became the third most-populous state to introduce online casino-style betting last year, following Nevada and Delaware.

“We are pleased to advance our online programme to include Android as well as 3G and 4G systems,” John Forelli, Vice President of Information Technology at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, recently said in a company statement. “Continued expansion to our New Jersey online consumers with more accessible technology is both exciting and creates more opportunity for growth.  Users will now have the ability to try their luck on most mobile devices anytime and anywhere in the state.”

The projected rise in mobile gambling is expected to fuel an increase in the number of users at New Jersey’s poker rooms and online casinos in 2014. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement recently said in a statement that the state’s gambling revenue had totalled $9.46 million in January 2014, marking a 28 percent increase from December last year, the first full month residents and visitors could play online in the state.

The report also showed that as of January 2014, 197,782 Internet gaming accounts had been created since the beginning of soft play on November 21, 2013. Total casino revenue, online and land-based, however declined 4.6 percent to $195.7 million in January, down from $205.2 million in the same period a year earlier. Mobile results from Livebet  Betsson are not accounted in those numbers. They will be there as of Q12014.

The state’s Internet gambling law was designed to stimulate business for its casinos, which have lost customers with neighbouring jurisdictions expanding their gambling. The availability of mobile devices however varies from one casino to another, mostly because state regulators are granting approval on a case-by-case basis for the technology of each casino.

There are rigorous standards put in place to make sure that the users are located within state boundaries, a crucial requirement of the law governing online gambling in the state of New Jersey. In addition, the state’s online casino operators are required to keep their hardware in Atlantic City properties.

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