MOBILE GAMING APPLICATION MARKETS


The market for betting tools, casino game apps, and lottery apps (random number generators and results) is approaching billions of dollars.


The market for betting tools, casino game apps, and lottery apps (random number generators and results) is approaching billions of dollars. While Apple and Google ban real-money casino games from the iPhone and Android markets, play money apps can be sold as premium downloads. Currently, six million Facebook poker players compete daily over 3G or WiFi networks. Facebook fans can locate their online friends and then schedule a game. There are options to chat with others at the table, buy virtual beers, as well as send and receive free chip gifts.

Mobile gaming market

According to Juniper Research, casino and lottery games are the fastest growing segments in the mobile content industry. Juniper forecasts in excess of $27.5 billion in mobile gambling wagers will be placed by 2013, growing to $48 billion by 2015. Here, we take a look at some of the available apps in the market

Apple App Store

Apple recently approved a downloadable Betfair gambling app for the iPhone. According to Head of Mobile at Betfair, Charles Palmer, in speaking to the trade press, "There were no terms and conditions about gambling. We approached Apple with the proposal and our app, showing that it does the normal KYC and age verification."

While Betfair has become the first online gambling application allowed by the Apple iPhone App Store, US iPhone users cannot access the app. This application runs on Betfair's Exchange system and uses GPS to authorise users to place bets when they are in UK and Ireland only.

"We have added the ability to locate where the customer is," continued Palmer. "It can tell if you are in the UK or Ireland and if you're not, it won't function. We put that in there as an extra precaution, they (Apple) didn't request that."

Besides compliance with US restrictions enforced by UIEGA, these gambling apps must enforce age verification in regulated jurisdictions. In Australia, Senator Nick Xenophon is pushing laws that would ban gambling apps from phones, even if they are play-for-fun apps. Betfair is confident that it can comply with conflicting regulations that restrict distribution of its app.

Betfair App Directory

Betfair has a Sports API that allows developers to create applications that seamlessly integrate with the Betfair Sports Exchange.

Developers can use the Sports API to create applications with a customised interface, functionality and specialised functions. These third party apps are featured on the Betfair App Directory. Each software application listed is technically compliant and licensed with Betfair, and designed to improve the productivity of Betfair products.

Leroy's Sportsbook App

American Wagering Inc has also incorporated geo-location verification into a sportsbetting application for Research In Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry.

The application lets users legally bet on sports anywhere in the US state of Nevada on BlackBerry phones. The application was developed with Leroy's sister company, Computerized Bookmaking Systems Inc, and with the assistance of BlackBerry's sports division.

Spin3 Partner Program

Spin3 is an award-winning provider of full service mobile casino solutions powered by Microgaming. The Spin3 Partner Program enables mobile content providers to promote Spin3 clients' mobile casinos to their customers for a share of revenues generated. Partners, on the other hand, will be able to provide the mobile casino games of any Spin3 clients that they choose to work with. While Apple allows betting apps for the UK/Ireland market, Spin3 offers a gaming app partner program without content restrictions, investment or risk. Unlike the premium download model used by the Apple for iPhone app revenue share, the Spin3 model is based on sharing revenues generated by the money wagered throughout the lifetime of each player referred.

In addition to providing mobile casino applications, Spin3 also advises partners in business development. The Partner Program pairs content providers with appropriate casino clients to maximise conversion and monйtisation of mobile gaming traffic.

Casinos and Sportsbooks

Partners can earn revenue by promoting a number of Spin3 mobile brands, including Ladbrokes, All Slots Mobile Casino, 32Red, Spin Palace, 777Mobile, Crazy Mobile Casino, and Wild Jack Mobile Casino. Products can be translated for any language to enhance player experience and maximise revenue.

Lotteries

Spin's LottoSpin is a complete interactive and mobile solution bringing the most popular form of gaming -lotteries - to the world's four billion mobile phones.

LottoSpin is a total solution for interactive lotteries, with four integrated modules that enables traditional lottery operators to leverage their brand, infrastructure and acquisition channels and launch their own interactive lottery offering. Games are fully supported on over 2,000 mobile devices, including iPhone, BlackBerry, and on Android-powered phones, giving partners access to the widest possible Smartphone market.

mPUSH private app storefront

mPUSH is a private label app storefront from txtNation that enables content providers to sell mobile gaming apps from private label e-stores. This app platform supports iPhone, iPad, Google Android, HTC and Blackberry.

The operator decides on the app catalogue and standards (gambling apps accepted). Integrated mobile billing is included. Operators have control over the prices, the content and the branding. The mobile storefront offers end-users premium SMS micro-payments, IVR numbers and credit/debit card payment options. Worldwide premium SMS short codes are available for 45 countries.

The product is available either as a complete customer-facing solution, providing web and WAP interfaces, or as a back-end service for existing web or WAP portals and includes connectivity to all the major networks and carriers across Europe.

Conclusion

As of writing, the social media company, Zynga, announced that it will port the iPhone app, Live Poker, to the Android platform. The company may implement an ad-supported model, possibly involving Google's AdMob to monetise distribution.

Given the widespread popularity of social games Farmville and Mafia Wars, the port of Live Poker to the Android presents a major challenge to Apple and RIM for mobile service market share.

The explosive growth in the Smartphone market has been driven by sales of the iPhone, and competition from the less restrictive and developer-friendly Android platform. Current trends indicate that the forecast of a $48 billion mobile gaming market by 2015 may actually be too conservative.

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