Real money mobile gaming in Europe
The prime driver of mobile gaming activity is the increasing proliferation of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Forrester Research predicts that there could be 3.4 billion smartphones and 905 million tablets in active use worldwide by 2017, implying 46% and 30% year on year (YOY) growth in smartphone and tablet adoption respectively. A study published by Deloitte estimated that smartphone penetration in the UK surpassed 60% in 2013, while tablet ownership more than doubled to 36%. This has driven consumer demand for all forms of mobile entertainment, including mobile gambling.
Growth in mobile gaming is also clearly evidenced by the fact that many of the established betting operators have been building up their mobile offerings in recent years and are exhibiting strong growth in their mobile channels – William Hill reported 146% growth in mobile gaming revenues in its interim results to July 2014; SkyBet reported 29% YOY growth in mobile users in July 2014; and Betsson reported 733% YOY growth in mobile revenues in February 2014.
Other drivers include convenience (a recent study indicated that 45% of consumers gamble regularly while travelling), privacy (a report by Juniper Research suggested that the added privacy offered by mobile gambling attracts casual gamblers), an improving user experience based on user interface enhancements, and content configured specifically for mobile consumption. Consumers have also become more accepting of mobile based payments. These drivers underpin the H2GC forecast growth of the combined market from €0.95bn in 2014 to €2.25bn by 2018 and to €2.81bn by 2020.