or at least five years, the games of chance world predicted that mobile phone betting would be the future market with a high-profitability. Analysts of the sector assured that, in 12 months, there would be a great growth of people playing poker, roulette and sport betting via their cell phones.
Charles Palmer, co-founder of Mfuse, a manufacturer of cyber programs of cell-phone games, focused in sportsbooks, thinks so. “In the following 12 months, our customers have gambled more than US$ 148,197,000 in concept of mobile bets, which indicates that the market is being developed very fast”, said Palmer. “We are preparing casino and bingo applications to release next year, and we see true signs that the users are very excited with mobile games of chance”, he added.
Among its customers, Mfuse has several of the main games of chance companies, including Ladbrokes, Gala Coral, William Hill, Bet365 and Mecca venue from Rank. Mfuse also attracted recently the investments of a pioneer of cyber bets, Mark Blandford, founder of Sportingbet.com.
Panelists of the conference agreed that it might take three or four years for the public to offer a great acceptance to mobile betting. In the UK, a great step will be performed when the current generation of teenagers, accustomed to use mobile phones, is 18 years old, because at that moment they will be able to bet via their cell phones legally.
Several experts said that the release of iPhone from Apple was one of the main reasons for people to upload new applications in their mobiles.
“It took years to the company to achieve enough speed for the games”, said Matt Welch, Director of Operations of British Cecure Gaming, that offers mobile poker. “Now we have a delay of 0.2 seconds for a decision in poker, which is almost the same speed as in Internet. Four years ago, the delay was of 16 seconds, which meant that a poker hand could take up to 20 minutes. Of course, no one would want to play at that speed”, he explained.
From the perspective of the games of chance operator, to make customers gamble via their mobile phones is attractive because it increases the value of a customer. Richard Hewitt, manager of mobile products of Betfair, said: “Mobile betting is currently one of the three main things of the company”.
Pritpal Bains, Manager of Products of the venue Skybet of British Sky Broadcasting, told Bloomberg agency: “Just a small percentage of our customer base uses mobile games of chance, but we expect it to increase rapidly once we have the appropriate services”.
Maybe the greatest obstacle for the adoption of mobile bets will be the attitude of mobile companies. In the UK, games of chance companies and manufacturers of cyber-programs complain that, for years, operators such as Orange venue of France Telecom SA and Vodafone Group have tried to hide their customers the content of the bets and so they have stopped the adoption of mobile betting.
In the latest 12 months, mobile operators have started offering betting content on their own sites, and Vodafone opened a betting a fortnight ago.
Vodafone restricts advertising links to services in the style of casinos from 6 to 22, although links to sportsbooks are allowed during the day.
It is unlikely that US bettors may see some of these innovations soon. The biggest companies of programs for mobile games do not want to deal with US customers due to questions about the legality of those services in US, and it is probable that telephone companies in United States block any betting website. So far, the growth of mobile betting seems to happen only in Europe and a small number of Asian countries that allow this type of bets.