Tablets and smartphones push online sportsbooks and betting exchanges market to $45 billion by 2017
Online gambling is experiencing a boom thanks to the growing popularity of tablets and smartphones.
Sportsbooks and online betting exchanges have been among the top beneficiaries of the consumer smartphone and tablet boom, according to a new report from Juniper Research.
The report found that more than $13 billion in bets, including more than $3 billion in the UK, were placed via mobile devices worldwide in 2011, a figure expected to reach $45 billion by 2017.
The report, 'Mobile Gambling: Casinos, Lotteries & Betting 2012-2017', notes that last year saw most leading sportsbooks experience a dramatic increase in the volume of bets from European (primarily UK) customers.
According to report author Dr Windsor Holden: 'Companies such as Ladbrokes, William Hill and Paddy Power are all seeing 40% or more of online sportsbook customers placing bets via a mobile or a tablet, with the result that those devices already account for around 20% of bets placed.'
While the mobile was currently viewed as a device for customer retention, the report suggested that operator strategies should increasingly view mobile as a means of customer acquisition. It cited feedback from bookmakers expecting mobile devices to comprise more than 40% of bets within two years, while also highlighting the surge in mobile-only sportsbook customers.
Furthermore, although in-play betting will be one of the key drivers for mobile betting, the report noted that network coverage will continue to be a constraint on adoption of such services from in-stadia customers.
Additionally, while most sportsbooks are moving towards browser-based applications for betting, native apps remain a key mechanism for service discovery. Adoption of casino-type mobile gambling is expected to accelerate rapidly in the US in the wake of last year's landmark Department of Justice ruling which effectively reopened that market for remote gamblers. And wagers via mobile devices across all forms of gambling are expected to reach $100 billion by 2017.