As more video game publishers focus on the large smartphone and tablet install base, monetization schemes on mobile platforms has begun to evolve grow. Microtransactions are now normal for new mobile game releases, encouraging players to pay small amounts of money constantly to keep the action going.
Of course, casinos and other gambling establishments have been taking small cuts of everything for centuries now and the gambling industry is poised to make an even larger impact in the mobile space. Market research firm Juniper Research this week released a new report showing that the mobile gambling industry took in $10 million in 2013. The firm predicts that global mobile gambling revenues will hit $62 billion by the year 2018.
Though U.S. gambling bans are currently one of the only things holding the industry back from allowing almost everyone to gamble on-the-go, Juniper believes that this situation may change in the coming years. As companies in gambling states such as Nevada and New Jersey set up mobile casinos, other states will be forced to legislate mobile gambling.
Even if mobile gambling is outlawed in much of the U.S., game developers may still be able to monetize casino games through existing microtransaction schemes. Juniper points out that several classic casino games such as slots and Poker (most notably Zynga‘s poker app) are some of the highest-grossing mobile apps on iOS. These free-to-play apps could put pressure on real money gambling apps to provide higher-quality experiences than they otherwise would.
Image via Zynga