The transition from live to online gambling first began just over two decades ago in 1994, when the World Wide Web was still in its nascent stages. Mobile gambling followed about 10 years later, but the infantile status of mobile technology at the time prevented the industry’s growth from taking off for years to come. As smartphones and tablets became more mainstream, it now appears that mobile gambling will finally supplant the domination of internet gaming on in-home computers.
According to App Annie, leisure gaming, which includes both real-money gambling and social gaming via the internet, is a USD $2.7 billion industry. Statistics show that mobile gambling and mobile social gaming on iOS devices alone grew an impressive 55% from November 2013 to November 2014. By the time the revenue reports for Q2 2014 were in the books, mobile gaming – which includes the industry’s largest resource, Facebook – had accounted for 51% of all online gaming activates.
That marked the first time in the history of the internet that mobile gambling had surpassed the traditional form of interactive gaming via desktop / laptop computers. And according to industry analysts, we are nowhere near hitting the plateau in the rise of mobile gambling via smartphones, tablets and iOS powered devices.
Market experts are anticipating the revenue from gaming on mobile devices to continue escalating through 2017. By then, analysts are predicting the global digital gaming business to be worth anywhere from $40 to $100 billion USD.
Last June, eMarketer predicted that 15 countries would see more than 50% of their population owning and using smartphones by the end of 2015. The company’s Senior Forecasting Analyst, Monica Peart, noted that internet-based commerce, including mobile gambling, will increase right along with it. “The embrace of this technology among the approximately 500 million people in these countries who will be using smart devices by the end of next year will have a significant influence on media usage, ecommerce and marketing.”
Australia was one of just two countries to have already experienced such a rapid growth in smartphone popularity that over 50% of the population already owned one prior to the start of 2015. Korea saw the fasted growth in smartphone technology, surpassing the 50% ownership mark in 2012, with Australia following closely behind in 2013.
Aussies are well known for their love of gambling. Statistics show that 80% of all adults in Australia enjoy some form of gambling, making Australia the highest rated gambling country in the world. As such, putting a smartphone or tablet into the hands of an Australian virtually guarantees the continued growth of mobile gambling throughout the region.
It’s also worth noting that iOS devices are the most popular brand in the Land Down Under. Sales records show that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ dominate the Australian market, accounting for 33% of all smartphone sales in Q4 2014. The release of the iPhone 6/6+ in September of last year incited the largest sale of smartphones in the history of the Australian Telco industry.