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59pc of US online gamblers access mobile Web: Forrester

Mobile gambling has been slow to catch on with consumers, but a new study from Forrester Research says that of the United States consumers who gamble online, 59 percent access the mobile Web.

In the “Gambling: Bet on mobile products and services” report, Forrester says that factors for mobile gambling are in place for the technology to claim a piece of the mobile pie. The study focuses primarily on European consumers and habits since the area has different market conditions than the U.S.

“After years of expectations, mobile gambling is finally ready to take off,” said Thomas Husson, senior analyst at Forrester Research, Paris.

Small games
Two groups were surveyed. The first group consisted of 773 European consumers who gamble. Additionally, 17,808 European consumers with mobile phones were also surveyed.

Of the European consumers surveyed who enjoy gambling, 26 percent of participants said they frequently access the mobile Web on their handsets.

Comparatively, 17 percent of European mobile consumers access the mobile Web.

Twenty-four percent of European consumers who gamble play mobile games on their mobile devices.

According to the report, 10 percent of European consumers who gamble said that they own an iPhone.

The study expects to see a particular rise in tablet gaming in the future to create a three-screen experience with televisions and game consoles.

Another key aspect to the increase in European mobile gambling is how games are being marketed with new regulations.

For example, the PMU – a betting system in France – has started to delve into sports betting because of decreased restrictions on mobile gambling.

Additionally, a recent study from IHS Screen Digest reported that revenue from mobile gambling in Britain doubled in 2010 (see story).

“This research says that new connected devices are offering opportunities for various players to expand their businesses and provide new products and services,” Mr. Husson said.

The bottom dollar
Although Forrester is showing that mobile gambling is gradually growing, it still has a while to go in order to catch up with the industry.

According to Mr. Husson, the European market is being shaken up by the proliferation of new mobile gambling companies.

“The most surprising thing to me is the fact that new entrants coming into the space are enabling disruptions across the industry,” Mr. Husson said.

As far as the U.S. market, gambling applications have slowly been creeping into Apple’s App Store.

However, the majority of mobile gambling providers are still choosing mobile Web options.

“Mobile is clearly the fastest-growing platform, but we are still seeing limited revenue generated from it,” Mr. Husson said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York