A new report from IHS Screen Digest says the market for gambling on mobile phones in the United Kingdom more than doubled in 2010. Net revenue from mobile gambling hit £41 million last year, up from £19 million in 2009.
The UK Gambling Commission calculates that ‘remote gambling’ - using the internet, a telephone or TV - was enjoyed by 13.7% of the population at the end of 2010, an increase from 9.8% in Q1 2007.
Ronan De Renesse, senior analyst and head of mobile at IHS, said “The full implementation of the 2005 UK Gambling Act in 2007 helped change the public perception of mobile gambling by allowing online betting sites to advertise their services on television and radio for the first time. During the past 12 months, there has been a rapid increase in advertising spending from mobile gambling operators and other wagering operations to promote their services. Partly because of this, the opinion of gambling has changed in the country. No longer does gambling conjure an image of a smoky betting shop hidden from the public. Instead, betting has crafted itself into a respectable enterprise by using ad campaigns featuring the endorsements of sports pundits. Today, consumers want a quick, good-looking application that provides additional content and allows them to place bets, spin a roulette wheel or buy a bingo ticket with the same level of ease that they currently can find online. As a result, a new wave of speedy, glamorous mobile gambling applications is emerging, which can be promoted in the wider media with ease. IHS expects this trend to continue.”
IHS notes that Blue Square, part of the Rank Group, attributed 20% of its revenue to mobile gambling in 2010 - a year-on-year increase of 300%.