Mobile marketplaces such as Google Play and Apple's App Store are now filled with millions of apps, many of which are free but require players to pay small fees to enhance their experience. Though such a business model is new for video games, the concept is an old one in the greater gaming industry. Gambling websites and casinos are now moving into the app space and finding much success.
According to a new report from market research firm Juniper Research, such success is likely to continue and even increase in the coming years. The firm predicts that mobile gamblers will increase to 164 million people by the year 2018, more than double the number of people who currently gamble on mobile devices.
Juniper sees the industry being driven by consumers who already gamble using their traditional PCs. In fact, the firm believes well-designed gambling experiences on tablets and smartphones could be even more tempting than sites in a web browser.
"Mobile can frequently provide a more immersive and convenient gambling experience than a desktop PC or laptop," wrote Siân Rowlands, author of the Juniper report. "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-oriented company, with the aim of achieving over half of their online revenues from mobile in the next 1-3 years."
Though gambling laws in the U.S. will hinder the industry, the report asserts that businesses in Nevada and New Jersey stand to gain significantly in the coming years. Highly regulated inter-state poker across the country could also become a reality, though that possibility is further off.
(Image courtesy Zynga)