Archive for the ‘News’ Category

How Geo-Location Could Harm US Mobile Bettors

geolocationMobile betting is the next big thing in internet based gambling. It is the fastest growing segment of a fast growing industry, and is currently taking Europe by storm. Everything from sportsbetting to poker, to mobile casino games are being designed and used by more and more punters who have adopted smartphones.

This market is lucrative because so many people have their phones on them for the vast majority of the day. Gone are the times of having to wait to get home to your PC to be able to gamble online; today’s punters have the ability to get instant gratification by using those smartphones to have a quick flutter on a lunch break, or while spending time at the bus stop.

With as big as the cyber gaming industry is getting, nobody can argue that the prospects of the mobile betting industry. Things will continue to evolve in this area, and the market will continue to expand for the foreseeable future.

That is, of course, if you are in the right location.

While Europe enjoys a legalized and regulated gaming market, our friends in the United States are struggling to get a legalized online betting solution. While we can enjoy big prize jackpots and innovative slot games from industry innovators such as Net Entertainment, Playtech, and Microgaming, punters in the States are relegated to older software from developers such as Real Time Gaming.

Things are evolving in America, but the lack of federal regulation has led to the process being left to the individual states, leaving many punters out in the cold. Recently Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey all signed laws that will allow for internet based gambling, but gaming services are restricted to punters located within their own borders. Punters from outside the state are frozen out, and left to unregulated, older betting solutions more fitting of a third world country than a global superpower.

But how do the casinos make sure that the punter is truly where they say they are?

That process called geo-location, and as much as it helps with containment laws, it very well could end up harming a legalized US betting market.

Geo-location uses either GPS satellites or network identification tools to trace your computer or smartphone’s location. While some methods are more accurate than others, geo-location is pretty good at giving a general location.

Many states who are adopting, or thinking about adopting internet betting in America have included geo-location into their bills, thinking that they can help keep the market safe and legal using this method along with some form of identity verification.

They are correct, of course, but there is an underlying concern about geo-location, and how it could negatively impact a legalized mobile betting market.

Let’s say this first: As big as mobile betting is getting to be throughout the rest of the world, it would be an even bigger market in the United States. The place is brimming with young people who have mobile devices, and Americans tend to spend a large amount of time on those smart devices. Thus, a legalized American betting market could provide even more massive numbers using mobile devices than if just PC numbers are factored.

But it is within the sportsbetting market that we may see some troubles. Sportsbetting in the United States is generally forbidden, thanks to a law passed in 1961. Recently some states have begun to challenge the federal law, and it is possible that sportsbetting could become legalized in more states in the near future.

With the possibility of sportsbetting laws changing, one voice has come out against such reform. That voice is the segmented major sports leagues in the United States, which are: the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League.

Those major sports leagues are so opposed to legalized sportsbetting, that they have collectively sued in order to keep the current laws on the books.

Even if they are not successful in keeping the act banned, the sports leagues have major pull in the country. Each league has roughly 30 teams in the largest US cities, and it is possible that the leagues could lobby to institute geo-location bans on betting services.

What exactly would that look like? Say a punter is headed to a football game in New Jersey, and the NFL worms in to the state’s legalized online betting solution in order to block users from betting within a certain radius of the stadium.

This would effectively block the ability of thousands of punters from being able to place bets in an around the stadium. Furthermore, additional sites around the stadium could also be blocked.

If you think that this isn’t possible, consider this: During the run-up to the last Super Bowl in New Orleans, the NFL somehow was able to convince the city to block existing advertising that had been paid for around the city and re-route traffic that the league thought would be detrimental to the experience of those in town visiting for the big game.

Those actions show the intimidating presence that these sports leagues hold over cities, whose economy is in no small part dependent on the business that these sports leagues bring. Furthermore, such aggressive moves could hinder a burgeoning gambling segment in an already shaky environment.

We can only hope that the sports leagues do not pick up on these useful pieces of technology and use them to bolster their hold on cities who could benefit from the tax revenues created by a legalized market place.

Bitcoins to Play a Role In Mobile Gaming

With the economic collapse and slow recovery that the world has seen since 2008, there is a lot of unease regarding the world’s currencies. The Euro is in trouble, and the Dollar is not what it used to be. With that being said, there is a form of currency that is taking the internet by storm. This new currency is secure, untraceable, and able to be divvied up into several pieces. In terms of value, it has skyrocketed recently, and is used by many types of people throughout the world.

Bitcoin Logo

That currency is Bitcoin, and it very well may be a major player in the mobile betting industry in the near future.

Bitcoins were launched in 2009 and works as a cyber currency. These cyber coins can be split in up to eight decimal places, and were designed to be limited to 21 billion at maximum. Bitcoins are created by mining, wherein users undertake computing resources to uncover digital codes to unearth the currency.

The money is then spent on goods and services throughout the web and is automatically converted to a certain value according to a set country’s currency. As of the writing of this article, a Bitcoin is worth roughly $127 USD, a pretty high price no matter how you slice it.

But it is online gambling wherein Bitcoin could really shine, and open the world to gaming markets that would otherwise be off limits.

Because its very nature is encrypted, Bitcoin is one of the more secure forms of currency on the market. Although its price is subject to rapidly fluctuating, Bitcoin is a great currency because it is not traceable, less likely to inflate substantially, and is decentralized (meaning that it is not backed by any government, which could potentially fail).

This is a great thing for the gaming industry, especially the mobile gaming industry. So many mobile punters gamble on the go because it is convenient. However, that convenience escapes when it comes to the casino’s financial system, as convoluted systems require punters to pull out their credit cards, exit the app to connect to a money wallet, and so on and so forth. This payment process takes players out of the game, and takes away from a lot of the fun that punters expect to have with this instant gratification world we live in.

Bitcoins could prevent this, as casinos could have a completely enclosed system wherein players could connect to a Bitcoin wallet and instantly transfer funds over without leaving a casino’s mobile app. This benefits both parties, as the convenience experienced by the punter keeps the casino profitable by not giving the player the chance to jump to another casino. But top of mind awareness is just the beginning of the benefits that Bitcoins can provide mobile casinos with.

As a decentralized currency, there are no limits on where a prospective mobile punter could play from. Sure, geolocation technologies will keep casinos licensed in certain areas from accepting action from certain spots. But it is those certain locations that cater to Americans or other oppressed punters that will have the benefit of dealing with Bitcoins and mobile bettors.

Currently the big issue with online casinos and books is that the restricted American banknig system simply makes doing business in the USA too costly to be profitable. However, if the dollar is taken out of the picture and replaced with Bitcoin, you will have a major hurdle cleared. Players could convert their cash to Bitcoins, spend it in a casino, have their winnings paid back as Bitcoins. Those coins could then be converted back to dollars and deposited into a banking account. While it seems complicated on paper, the process actually plays out much simpler in reality.

We are not saying that this is the end-all solution but the benefits of using a purely electronic solution is a big step forward in terms of a large scale currency. When on the go, this whole system could potentially push the mobile betting system even further than we have already seen, and it combines the best parts of various financial systems throughout the world.

With the restrictions put in place by various governments throughout the world, it is unlikely that we will ever see the introduction of a global friendly internet casino, but restrictions can be overcome in this industry, and innovations such as Bitcoin are the reasons why.

The Evolution of Mobile Betting Games

We have come a long way since the days of the brick sized cell phones of lore. We went from choppy call quality and massive sized batteries to phones that now can fit in your pocket and rival the computing power that we have on our PCs. That evolution has taken place over the course of several decades, and is pretty impressive in its own right.

However there is an advancement that is perhaps even more impressive than mobile phone development. That advancement is the evolution of mobile based betting games.

It seems that for as long as there has been the internet, people have found a way to gamble on it. The world started out rudimentary, with the popping up of several Caribbean based betting sites after Antigua and Barbuda allowed such sites to be licensed in 1994. Sites at the time were limited by computing power and the speed of dialup internet connections, but these beginning sites laid the foundation for today’s mobile based betting world.

As the internet advanced, so did online casinos. The software and transaction security evolved to the point where punters felt safe having a flutter in their homes. At the same time, mobile phones started becoming smaller and affordable for the every man. Games like Breakout, Tetris, and Backgammon, were simple in their own right, but the fact that players could play these on their phone allowed them to consolidate their devices and mobile betting was born.

Those first mobile wagering games were simple, with games adapted for small screen devices that still used somewhat simple processors. In a world that had yet to see the invention of a reliable and accurate touch screen, punters would place bets using an arrow button and enter wagering amounts using their keypads.

Even with the rudimentary looks and gameplay, it was still a revolution. Imagine if you were speaking to casino leaders in the early days of Vegas, telling them that in the future you would have the ability to play a slot machine by using a telephone that was small enough to fit into your pocket. You probably would have been locked up in a psychiatric ward!

Players were now given the freedom to play these basic games, but the business remained a relative niche in comparison to the rapidly expanding and evolving PC gambling world, which was seeing networked poker games and progressive jackpots being offered in several countries throughout the world.

That all changed with one device. The iPhone.

As much as we like to goof on the iPhone around here, there is no doubt that it created the kick in the pants that the mobile world needed. Consumers were finally given a piece of technology that gave an experience that was revolutionary. Users could use their cellular connection to get effective directions, use the internet, and (eventually) download third party apps. Google followed a year later when it offered its Android smartphone solution.

The die was cast, and mobile internet gambling was set to expand at a rapid clip. The quality of various gambling games improved substantially, with touch based controls and a larger screen which enabled players to view more of what exactly was going on. Devices with higher horsepower allowed for casinos to release higher quality slot games that offered more fluid animations and unique bonus rounds.

Today we are seeing that evolution continue. Gaming suppliers such as Microgaming, Playtech, and Net Entertainment all have mobile divisions in their firms which are dedicated to porting over old titles and creating new properties for mobile devices. The quality of slot machines and table games rivals anything we see in Flash based casinos.

In addition to straight casino games, we are now seeing networked internet poker from industry giants like PokerStars being offered on smartphones and tablets. These games are interconnected with PC connected games, and offer all of the features and tournaments one would expect. Furthermore, we are starting to see the adoption of mobile live dealer games on these devices, in which a real live dealt game is transmitted in real time to punters in a different location.

The market is maturing at a rapid pace, and is poised to become the leading source of gambling revenues in the upcoming years. But what does the future hold?

That question is one of partial uncertainty. The gambling industry is always looking for the next big thing, and future developments in the market are tied to what is being released in the mobile phone market. With that being said, we do know that smartphones are only going to get faster and better. That means that mobile gambling features will continue to get better; and that will only draw in more punters.

Where do you see the future of mobile gambling going? What are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments section below.

Gaming Developers Would Be Smart To Develop Mobile Games With The Android In Mind.

Since it launched in 2007, Apple’s iPhone has been the “hip” phone, the cool kid on the block. In contrast, when the first Android smartphones were released in 2008, it was considered to be buggy and generally not as smooth as Apple’s devices. IOS, the system by which the iPhone works on was seen as the easier to use, more stable of the two, and Android was initially slow taking off.

However, things began to change in recent years. Android has pumped itself up to a solid OS, with several updates and new versions being launched which have increased the platform’s usability and functionality. With its latest platform Jelly Bean, Google has reached a watershed moment. For the first time in its existence, Android is being touted as being just as user friendly as iOS, and the software offers many features that Apple’s product cannot touch.

Live wallpapers, multitasking, and Flash support are just some of the many features that Android offers that iOS does not. Earlier this year that innovation and process of development paid off, as it was announced that Google’s Android powered smartphones had overtaken Apple’s iPhone in terms of user share.

The numbers aren’t insignificant either, folks. Android devices now outnumber iPhones sold, as Android holds 52% of all smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2013. Apple iPhones accounted for 39% of phones sold.

With the growing Android market and the fact that more and more users are seeing it as the preferred method for their smartphones and tablets, one thing should be blatantly obvious to gambling software developers:

Their primary focus needs to be on making their software Android friendly.

Now, we aren’t saying that Apple should be left out in the cold here, but we are saying that it is foolish for operators to think that the iPhone will be the primary type of device being used to play casino games on their phones.

The simple fact of the matter is that Android devices have different strengths that developers can play to in lieu of assets that an iPhone brings to the table. Frankly speaking, you are dealing with two different animals when developing for the two different systems. In the past, that led to iPhones getting the development preference, as they had the bigger market share.

Now though, those numbers have changed, and with the large amount of quality phones hitting the market, you can bet that Android development is likely to be streamlined into a more simplified process.

Previously, Android phones were segmented by what the phones could actually run. Some were not capable of running advanced pieces of software, and the market suffered for it. With the new advanced devices, we are seeing greater processors, and RAM sizes that will allow for greater leeway when providers create software on the platform.

If developers are going to make shift development strategies, what can we as Android owners expect to see?

If you are expecting Flash support, you will not see it. Flash is resource heavy, and frankly not a very efficient way of delivering content on a mobile device. The drain on batteries and memory creates a bigger variance gap in terms of the variety of phones offered. Furthermore, Adobe has announced that they are abandoning the format, making HTML5 the format of choice for developers.

Another thing that will be needed for Android support is different screen sizes, as the multitude of smartphones, have screen sizes ranging from roughly 4 to 5 inches. These bigger screen sizes will come to our benefit, however, as layouts for games can be optimized to take advantage of the extra real estate.

Despite the great amount of differences between the ways that the development of apps on each of the platform, there really is a bit of common ground between the two systems. While we think that apps can and should be ported to both devices, we think that the days of the iPhone dominated market are over, and that developers should take a look at porting their apps with an “Android First” mentality.

Where do you stand on this? Do you think Android should be the primary platform that developers should target when creating mobile software? Should the platform with the majority of users get their software first? Let us know where you stand in the comments section below.

Live Dealer Games Are The Future Of Mobile Table Games

In a world in which we see the cyber betting market rapidly evolving, one game is positioning itself as the new standard bearer in terms of innovation and popularity. This game set allows both rapid betting and a real world casino feel, and has been gaining new operators left and right.

The game type is Live Dealer titles, and they are the future of mobile devices.

For those of you who are not in the know, Live Dealer games are about as close to real life casino betting as you can get in a cyber betting realm. The games are offered by many internet casinos and see players playing games such as Baccarat, Blackjack, and Roulette against a real life dealer in a studio or land based casino.

In Live Dealer Games, players are able to place bets much like they would any other cyber game, but the action plays out in real time as a dealer is present and actively engaged through the use of cameras and microphones.

During the games real cards with barcodes are used. When the cards are scanned, they are properly put up into a virtual table in which the punter can interact with. The actions are then played out, and punters have their funds credited or subtracted from their online total accordingly.

With many recent high end smartphones hitting the market, the world has never been more set for mobile live dealer games. Traditionally speaking, these games require quite a bit more processing power than what had previously been available on mobile devices. However nowadays, it is not uncommon to have a phone with a high end processor and lots of RAM. Some phones are even sporting quad-core chips and up to 2 Gigs of RAM.

Needless to say, the time is now here when mobile devices are able to handle the workload imposed by these games, and gaming operators would be wise to adopt such games for their customers.

Some gaming operators have beat the rush by offering these games to punters. In February, industry giant Playtech announced that it had developed mobile live dealer software and that internet casino BetFred would be the first operator to adopt such software.

But who will come next in the realm of mobile live dealers? Microgaming is a good bet, as is Swedish internet betting firm Net Entertainment. Perhaps an even more relevant question is: What features will such mobile based live dealer games need to have in order to be successful?

Here is a list of some features that we feel will be necessary for mobile live casinos to utilize in a successful market.

  • A touch friendly interface: Even though games will utilize a large portion of the screen for the video aspect, the games still need to have an easy to navigate the software. This translates to large buttons, and a color friendly layout that will differentiate the different betting options from each other.
  • The ability to be played over a 3G or better cellular connection: This goes without saying. If gaming companies want their product to be truly mobile, then cellular compatibility is a must. Shockingly, there is a large number of iPhone and Android related apps that are operational using only wifi (Apple’s Face Time Chat comes to mind). Even though video can be a bandwidth hog, this is a necessity in terms of mobile compatibility.
  • The ability to compress data: This goes hand in hand with the 3G cellular connection. Many people are now forced to undergo a limited data plan. Thus, if players want to be able to realistically play on the go, it is imperative that online gambling software developers be able to actually compress that data amount to make it palpable for punters to play these live dealer games.
  • Continue the attractive girl theme, but add a little something for the ladies: Anyone who has played a live dealer game knows that the women who generally deal out the cards are bombshells. This is great for the male demographic, but gaming developers should remember that women play too, and if they are on the go, having provocatively dressed women on their screen may not be the best option for them. I am not saying having a Chippendale dancers on the screen, but a male dealer may help attract more female punters.
  • A strong marketing push: Mobile casino games are generally seen as having the slots and virtual table games being the top dogs. This will be the trend for the foreseeable future, but casinos can promote their live dealer products and eventually use the game’s popularity to overcome the straight virtual games. In order to do so, an operator needs to push the personal aspect that live dealer games give you, and really tout the game’s virtues.

These are what we view as key components to the future success of live dealer games. The selection and technical aspect is great, and now that smartphones and tablets have the ability to run live dealer games, it is time for operators to capitalize and rush in the new era of cyber casino betting.

Android Overtakes iOS In Tablet Share, And What This Means For Betting

Android-VS-Apple-1Are Apple’s days of dominance over? The Cupertino, California based company has experienced a bit of turmoil since its CEO Steve Jobs died in 2011. Despite solid overall sales, Apple has seen its share price fall from a high of $700 last year, to a current price of $446.11 as of the writing of this article.

The news gets even worse when you consider the lucrative tablet market. On May 2nd it was revealed that Android tablet devices overtook iOS in terms of market share… and the size of the gap is widening.

Numbers reported today show that Android tablets account for 56.5% of the market share, while iOS iPads accounted for 39.6%. This is a staggering blow for Apple, and a huge victory for Google, who last year only held 39.4% of the market share against Apple’s 58.1%.

What makes this even more significant is that Apple’s iPad mini has not helped restore Apple’s dominance. When the smaller tablet was released last fall, it was meant to compete with Android’s cheaper tablets.

What this means for the mobile gambling market

With the explosion of the mobile gambling market, it is likely that we will begin to see more and more internet based casinos designing software with an emphasis on Android’s platform strengths. Over the past few years, the iPad has been such a dominant presence that developers based their mobile betting strategy on that platform. Android almost felt like an afterthought, with releases that were not as stable, or frankly entertaining being released as a result.

Now that the market has shifted, betting developers will be wise to accept this, and change their development strategies accordingly.

With an adaptive operating system that has only gotten better over time, Android is quickly becoming the go-to standard for software developers, who have leaned how to quickly adapt to the system’s benefits. Unlike the days of yore, developers have been able to adapt, and users get their apps released at an almost simultaneous time as Apple’s.

Tablets first, smartphones second

Now that there is a dominant force in the tablet market, we need to see some real movement towards apps that are specifically developed for tablets. All too often we have seen apps that are designed with the smartphone in mind.

There has been a lot of neglect thrown the tablet’s way, and there needs to be a fundamental shift towards actually developing gambling software that is tailored for the slate screen. When developed correctly, sportsbetting, casino, and poker betting is much better on a tablet than on a smartphone or PC.

While that sounds nice, it doesn’t mean anything until you get down to thinking just how gaming apps could be tailored to an Android tablet’s features. With support for HD displays, cameras, microphones, and more, there are plenty of assets that developers can use to make Android a great gambling system.

However, it is most important that gaming firms focus on making stable products for the platform. One thing that apps on the Apple App Store have on Android apps is that they are reviewed by Apple officials to make sure that the software runs in a stable manner and will not crash. Because of Google’s ban on gambling apps, this is not possible, but it does not mean that it is not possible to develop a stable platform.

Going Forward

It is just a matter of time before we start seeing a huge shift toward Android in terms of gaming design. What will initially begin as a trickle will turn into a flooded market, and Android betting will be equally, if not more popular than iOS betting in the next two years.

The Lure of Mobile Betting In Land Casinos

Earlier this week it was announced that the very popular Atlantis Casino in Nassau, Bahamas had partnered with Cantor gaming to develop a mobile betting site for visitors on the resort’s grounds. The mobile site will allow punters to wager on casino, poker, and sportsbetting games through their iOS and Android mobile devices.

While this is hardly the first case of a major land based casino adopting mobile betting, it is one in a continuing series of steps that is seeing major land based casinos realizing the potential of mobile betting.

Casinos in Europe have the longest history when it comes to mobile betting on premises, while the activity is quickly finding a foothold in other betting regions throughout the world. Even in the highly restricted Americas casinos are beginning to realize that mobile based cyber betting provides the opportunity to bring in more revenues.

Although they are prohibited from offering internet based wagers from inside the United States, many major land based spots such as MGM Grand have partnered with social gaming firms to provide free play games to guests. While this may seem like an inauspicious practice, it is actually pretty smart. By establishing a cyber backbone into their business structure, land based betting firms in the United States will be more ready to implement real money mobile betting when laws in the casino’s home state are favorable for internet gambling.

This in turn gives the casino an upper hand on their non-participating competition. While other land casinos will be left to strike partnerships and build infrastructure, the original social pioneers will be busy getting their product ready for a fast launch.

Hit guests where they are staying

At a first glance, offering mobile betting to people staying at a casino is a pretty silly proposition. I mean that is why the casino is there, isn’t it?

Well, if you sit and actually think about it, the act of offering mobile betting to visitors of a casino and its resort is really quite genius.

A lot of times, people who end up staying at resorts have children. Those children need to be taken care of, entertained, and have quality time spent with them. A visitor who does these things with their children is losing effective playing time by spending time off the gaming floor. Well what do you do if you can’t bring the visitor to the casino?

You bring the casino to the visitor!

With these mobile options, parents can have a punt while their kids play in the pool or do other various fun things in and around the resort grounds. That helps bring back extra revenue back to the casino floor and keep the parents entertained. It’s a win-win.

The future of mobile betting in land casinos.

While some casinos around the world have adopted real money mobile betting on site, many have not fully integrated the system into their grounds.

As technology rapidly progresses, and more and more players acquire tablets and smartphones, we will see the introduction of more unique mobile games being offered to gamblers. Some software providers such as IGT and WMS have cyber versions of their land based games, but it will be more interesting to see just what transpires between these gaming firms and land casinos.

Given that they have such a strong working relationship established, it is difficult to see how a land based casino would overlook one of the major games developers when trying to adopt a mobile offering. With that being said, sometimes things happen. It is entirely possible that prices for an IGT product could be too high.

If this scenario occurs, it could open the door for an established cyber provider such as Playtech or Net Entertainment, whose online betting games rival any of those that you would find in a land based casino. If those firms get into the market, watch out, because there would be a lot of innovation coming to an already rapidly evolving industry.

So the next time you are staying at a casino resort, make sure to ask the counter person if they have a mobile betting set up. If not, ask them why not, and suggest that their management get on the ball!

Mobile Sportsbetting Is Red Hot

img_1Mobile betting is red hot. If you are a doubter of this fact, you need look no further than the financial reports of internet betting firms. On almost every financial release, the brightest spot is mobile betting. While there are many ways for punters to enjoy a flutter on their device, one of the specific ways of mobile betting is the most popular by a long shot.

That activity is sportsbetting.

Sportsbetting is an activity wherein the punter predicts the outcome of various aspects of a sporting event. This can be the differential in the final score, the number of points scored, determining the winner or loser, and so on. The industry is very involved and engaging for those who participate, and the unpredictable nature of professional sports makes the betting that much more exciting.

Of course, the leading group of punters participating in sportsbetting are sports fans themselves. This means that men aged 25-49 are the vital group that betting firms need to target in order to keep profitable. When looked at, these folks are on the go, and the vast majority of people in that group have a smartphone, both in the USA and rest of the world.

When you look at the numbers that way, it is easy to see why sportsbetting has proven to be so popular. With so many people out and about, mobile sportsbetting allows them to have the power to bet on a match while out at the grocery store, theater, gym, or the event itself.

If you re-read that paragraph again, you will note that I used the word “power”. That is an important distinction when talking about a form of gambling. Of course, the house has the edge, and that can be kind of a buzz kill. But when you are in control or empowered to make the decision on the outcome of the big game, you feel great. If your bet ends up winning and you beat the expert oddsmaker, you feel even better. This is the core backbone behind the mobile bet; empowerment.

Beyond that empowerment is the great features that mobile sportsbetting provides punters with. Now that smartphones and tablets are able to handle live streaming video and stats, sportsbetting has achieved a new level of interactivity with punters.

Live odds can be displayed and updated on the fly, and match videos can also be watched simultaneously. This gives the punter a bevy of great ways to enhance his betting experience… and bring him back for more.

Another aspect to consider is the social functions that mobile betting can serve. What better way is there to settle a sporting argument than placing a wager on the game. Imagine two friends at a pub: “Do you really think that Liverpool is better than Chelsea? Okay, smart guy, put your money where your mouth is. Put £20 on them pulling this game out.” The friend then pulls out his smartphone, pulls up his BetVictor app, and seals the bet away. This type of bet would not have been possible in the past, and supporting updates will allow the punter to gloat via social media outlets when it turns out he is correct.

A chance for a cooldown

In a market that is expanding as rapidly and aggressively as mobile betting, there will likely be a point where mobile sportsbetting hits a lull. This point is likely off in the distance, but will be caused by the stagnation of the services provided. When various methods of enjoying activities are not updated, they often become tired, and the public moves on to the next big thing.

It is yet to be seen if mobile sportsbetting has the ability to stay fresh enough and keep with the changing times. Some will say that sports betting is an act that is so established that of course, mobile betting will be popular for years to come. Others will say that punters are just waiting for the next big thing, and that when something comes along, mobile sportsbetting will go the way of the dinosaurs.

Perhaps they should log on to their phones and place a wager.

Why Zynga Needs Real Money Mobile Gambling

ZyngaSan Francisco based social media games developer Zynga is in a real tailspin. The company, which was formed in 2007, has seen its stock prices fall to $3.18 per share from an all time high of $14.69 in 2012.

The company is in dire straights, and despite recently teaming with European betting giant bwin.party to offer real money gambling to punters in the UK, Zynga needs a game changer.

Mobile based online gambling can and should be that opportunity.

Named as the fastest growing segment in the internet gambling industry, mobile gambling is poised to overtake the desktop in terms of revenues produced within three to five years. The amount of money being spent by other gaming firms on real money mobile betting development is huge, and Zynga needs to show up to the party.

Assets

For those of you who aren’t in the know, Zynga is a social networking game developer. Even if you don’t recognize their name, there is a solid chance that you have played their games in the past. Since its founding in 2007, Zynga has launched popular social games such as Words With Friends, Farmville, Zynga Poker, and Slingo, among many others.

While you may scoff at the notion of a social gaming company adopting real money gambling, you may want to take a look at the numbers. Currently Zynga products rank number six in the amount of time that users spend using their software. The firm only ranks behind Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Pandora in that category.

With that much time being spent on Zynga games, the company’s games have become brands, instantly recognizable to millions of people throughout the world.

Even with financial hardships that the company is facing, you cannot throw away the value of an established and recognized brand.

How They Need to Get it Done

We have already established that Zynga houses several strong brands, and that users of their products spend more time with them than anyone else on the web. Now, Zynga needs to capitalize on these strengths and translate them to the mobile betting market.

The company took a solid first step with its Zynga Plus Casino and Zynga Plus Poker gambling products earlier this month, but this alone will not stem the tide of losses for the company. The firm needs to actively work with bwin on creating a strong mobile based product that will translate its social gaming experiences over to mobile devices.

Once they deliver their real money mobile offerings to the masses, the firm needs to do a better job of marketing the launch and delivering a stable product. Many players in the UK do not even know that Zynga has a real money casino, and those that do have voiced concerns about the site’s lack of stability. These are all issues that need to be addressed on Day 1.

Will They Pull It Off?

Zynga’s Founder and CEO Mark Pincus is a smart guy and honestly, the company’s real money casino products are a lot of fun to play. If Zynga has the forethought to port these over to the mobile platform, they will be on the right track.

There appears to be a lot of skepticism regarding the company’s future, and a lot of the criticism that Zynga has faced has been brought on by bad business decisions.

With that being said, it is hard to see how a company with 52 million daily active users could whiff on an opportunity as big as real money mobile betting. The company has a solid partnership with one of the industry’s biggest names, and it seems logical that the social gaming firm will enter the mobile betting market by 2014.

Hopefully it is not too late.

Mobile Gaming Suppliers Looking Toward U.S. Alliances

Probability plcAs a legalized and regulated internet gambling market inches closer towards becoming a reality in the United States, several portable gaming developers are looking for potential American partners that they can leverage to bring mobile betting stateside.

After federal pushes to legalize and regulate the act never materialized, individual states took matters into their own hands. Aided by a December, 2011 Justice Department opinion that casino and poker gaming did not violate The Wire Act, individual states began creating their own laws regarding internet gambling.

Nevada was first, legalizing internet poker for people geographically located within its borders at the time of action. Delaware was the next, legalizing both internet and casino games within its borders. Earlier this year New Jersey also joined the internet gambling became the third state to legalize and regulate internet gambling, as Republican Governor Chris Christie signed a bill into law which legalizes internet casino and poker games.

Now there is a full on rush for more states to jump on the cyber bandwagon. From Massachusetts to Hawaii and everywhere in between, there seems to be some form of active legislative work towards legalizing some form of internet gambling.

Always eager to maximize their profits, mobile betting firms have started to investigate the possibility of a liberalized American market. For an industry that is growing as rapidly as internet gambling, mobile betting may be the hottest segment in that market. Strong growth in mobile punters has led to industry analysts predicting that worldwide mobile betting revenues could reach $11.4 billion by 2014.

And that does not include the U.S. Market.

A Huge Market

With a population of more than 300 million, the United States is the apple that is prime for the picking. As it has become more and more obvious that internet gambling will be legalized there, firms such as Probability plc have started building strategic alliances. Apparently, the interest is mutual.

“We are getting a lot of interest from U.S. Companies,” Probability CEO Charles Cohen told Reuters in an interview earlier this month. “I would hope to get into at least one other territory during this year, if not two,” the Executive continued.

Speaking about the future of internet gambling in America Cohen said, “Within a couple of years, half the population of the United States will live either in a state or very close to somewhere they can gamble for real money through their mobile phone or desktop.”

With optimism like that, it is no wonder that so many firms are looking to America to continue their internet gambling successes.

Overcoming Challenges

With a new market comes new challenges. Those looking to enter the American gaming market from offshore will likely face a few obstacles due to legal proceedings in the past.

After the United States passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, betting operators who continued to offer betting services to Americans were kept track of. Now, any operators who were offering action during this time frame may be subject to a “bad actor” clause in gaming legislation. These bad actor clauses could end up keeping certain betting groups out of the United States from a period of five years to forever, depending on the language written into law.

Such a clause could end up being potentially lethal to some of the bigger names in the gaming industry, as revenues that could have been theirs would be passed on to rival firms who heeded the federal government’s warnings and pulled out of America in 2006.

Bright Skies Ahead

Even with the potential challenges European mobile betting firms may face when coming to America, there is a sense that the future is as bright as ever.

“I think that desktop is dead as a platform for real money gaming … and consumers are frankly voting with their feet already,” Cohen remarked, noting that mobile betting is expected to bring in the bulk of the industry’s revenues within five years.

Like a legalized American cyber betting market, mobile domination seems to be just a matter of time.