Mobile sports betting expected to hit $45 billion by 2017 – Las Vegas Review

Online sports books and betting exchanges have been among the leading beneficiaries from the rise in popularity of smartphones and tablets among consumers, a report released Monday found.

The Juniper Research report finds more than $13 billion in bets, including more than $3 billion in the United Kingdom, were placed via mobile devices worldwide in 2011, a figure expected to reach $45 billion by 2017.

The report, “Mobile Gaming: Casinos, Lotteries Betting 2012-2017,” notes that last year saw most leading sportsbooks experience a dramatic increase in the volume of bets from European, primarily U.K. customers. Nevada is the only state in the U.S. with legalized mobile and tablet sports wagering.

“Companies such as Ladbrokes, William Hill and Paddy Power are all seeing 40 percent or more of online sportsbook customers placing bets via a mobile or tablet, with the result that those devices already account for around 20 percent of bets placed,” said Windsor Holden, author of the report.

All three bookmakers are expanding into Nevada.

Last month, William Hill’s $55 million acquisition of three sports book operators was approved by Nevada gaming regulators. The company acquired American Wagering Inc., Brandywine Bookmaking LLC and Club Cal Neva.

Ladbrokes is still waiting for gaming regulators to approve their $3 million purchase of 65 percent of Stadium Technology Group, a Las Vegas-based supplier of software and in-game betting applications to sports book operators.

A state Gaming Control Board hearing to determine Paddy Power’s suitability to do business in Nevada is scheduled for Wednesday. If approved by the three-member board, the Nevada Gaming Commission would then hear Paddy Power’s license application on July 26.

While smartphones and tablets are currently viewed as a device for customer retention, the report suggests gaming and sports book companies should increasingly view mobile as a means for customer acquisition.

Juniper Research cited comments from bookmakers expecting mobile devices to comprise more than 40 percent of bets within two years, while it also highlights a surge in “solus,” mobile only sportsbook customers.

William Hill and Cantor Gaming are the only Las Vegas-based companies to offer mobile sports wagering.

Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at or 702-477-3893.

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