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Mobile Gambling Touted as Next Big Thing

27 Apr 2006

HONG KONG – As reported by the Telecom Asia: "Mobile gambling is touted as one of the big revenue drivers for mobile data services in the next five years. But it's not easy money, and the house is the big winner, so the real value for cellos may be in 3G-based VAS packages that maximize 3G's multimedia channels to deliver a rich experience

"Mobile gambling isn't a new thing to the wireless industry. It's been around for years in one form or another.

"…Inevitably, the emergence of sophisticated handsets and advanced mobile data services is already taking mobile gambling services and apps to new levels. Today, users can download Java-based gambling apps over higher-speed wireless networks.

"As 3G networks become mainstream and handsets with advanced Java and video capabilities, many believe that such trends will help mobile gambling grow sharply over the next few years.

"One source of optimism for mobile gambling enthusiasts is, of course, the rapid rise of remote gambling on the Internet, which has opened up sports betting and casino-style gaming to a mass-market audience.

"…Estimates on the size of the mobile betting market vary widely. Figures from Informa Telecoms & Media indicate that the global mobile gambling revenues will grow from $1.2 billion in 2005 to $7.6 billion in 2010, split across the chief categories of sports and spread betting, mobile lotteries and scratch-cards, and casino and skill games. Juniper Research is even more bullish, predicting that global mobile betting will grow from $2 billion last year to $19.3 billion by 2009, with mobile lotteries becoming the most popular form of mobile gambling.

"Either way, Asia is pegged as a key market for mobile gambling over the next few years. Informa says mobile gambling in Asia will grow from $426 million to $2.7 billion by 2010, making it the second largest market for mobile gambling after Europe. Juniper Research reckons that Asia will see strong growth of mobile lotteries, due to the strong culture of lottery in the region - and because most lottery apps don't require 3G capabilities to succeed.

"…The relationship between mobile gambling growth and regulatory climates is clearly illustrated in Europe. Mobile gambling is gaining traction there at rapid rates, largely due to more relaxed legislation…"

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