Mobile gambling refers to playing games of chance or skill for money by using a remote device such as a tablet computer, smartphone or a mobile phone with a wireless internet connection. Over a hundred mobile casinos are operating as of December 2013, with most of the big casino operators in gambling now providing a mobile platform for their player base.
In 2005, Jupiter Research forecast that global mobile gambling services would generate revenues of more than $19.3 billion US dollars by 2009. In 2010, Gartner analysts showed the 2009 global mobile gambling revenues at $4.7 billion and forecast $5.6 billion for 2010. Such a large discrepancy between the 2005 forecast and the 2009 reality is attributed to the unexpected 2006 US prohibition of all internet based gambling.
The mobile gambling market, as of 2011 is still in flux. The European Union still does not have a unified mobile gambling legislative framework in place. Each European country has their own set of widely different laws which regulate mobile gambling ranging from Finland where a government monopoly operates internet casinos to Norway which is in favor of complete prohibition of online gambling.
According to a Juniper Research report released in September 2010 the total sum wagered on mobile casino games is expected to surpass $48 billion US dollars by 2015. The report bases this prediction on (1) the high growth rates of mobile casinos, lotteries and sports betting providers in major emerging markets and China; (2) liberalization of mobile gambling legislation in Europe; (3) United States repealing the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, permitting people in the US to legally gamble online again.
A 2010 Gartner forecast sees 2014 global mobile gambling revenues reach $11.4 billion.
Mobile casino games
According to a February 2010 comScore MobiLens study of the U.S. mobile gaming market, smartphone subscribers are much more likely to play mobile casino games than subscribers of generic phones. The study revealed that 7.6% of smartphone subscribers and 1.2% of generic mobile subscribers played mobile casino games within a three-month time frame.
Aside from availability online, United States of America-based mobile casino apps have appeared in several land-based locations that can be utilized to gamble only while physically present on the casino’s property. This extends to outside areas that are still within the boundaries of the property, making them the first type of slot machine, sports-betting, and random number generated gambling to take place legally off the licensed gaming floor while still inside a U.S. casino.
In 2013 Apple and Google reversed a decision to permit mobile gaming applications to be distributed by their service in the United States.