The very first mGaming Summit took place in London on June 15th, a joint venture between Telemedia360 and iGaming Business. Just over 150 mobile experts and iGaming professionals gathered for the day at King’s Fund to talk mobile gaming and gathered for the night at Club Bond to talk heavy drinking.
Mobile gaming has been a huge topic of interest amongst the online gambling industry for years, but the expertise and technology were not available until just recently. At present, Paddy Power reports that 30% of their punters have made a mobile bet, Ladbrokes reports 20% and eBay is currently selling more tablets than PCs. Ross Sleight of Somo believes that mobile devices will become the first point of entry for online gambling in the UK and that this is already the case in developing countries such as Africa and South America.
Clearly there is something here for us.
To educate the online gambling industry on where the mobile opportunities lie and what the future holds for this revenue channel, the mGaming Summit provided a series of panels and presentations led by experts in the mobile industry. The day was separated into two tracks, one room dedicated to more practical subjects for those already involved with mobile gaming and another room dedicated to iGaming professionals who are looking to get into the market.
Keynote speaker Dr. Windsor Holden, author of the Mobile Gaming Report, kicked off the day by pointing out a common misconception that the mobile channel cannibalizes existing revenues. Rather, mobile gaming compliments existing revenue channels, as confirmed in a study conducted by Ladbrokes. Another interesting point delivered in his speech was that Japan is clearly the trailblazer when it comes to mobile gaming followed by the UK. According to Holden, the major growth in the sector lies in China and also in the United States, especially when it comes to state lotteries and the state of Nevada.
Following the keynote, Darren Noyce explained to delegates that lotteries could become the main point of entry to mGambling and that text messaging is a great way to engage customers with mGambling products. Noyce also stressed the strong relationship between social media and mGambling and that operators must take advantage of this linkage to boost their mobile revenue stream.
Another popular subject these days is in-game betting and live stream offerings via mobile devices. Andrew Pegler of MFuse explained that mGambling from live events can be difficult because of data network infrastructure limitations. However, in-game betting and live streaming away from the event can be a great acquisition tool and as Steve Cook pointed out, tablets will soon dominate the live streaming space. There is a lot of room for innovation in live streaming.
By the end of the day it was clear that all delegates enjoyed the inaugural mGaming Summit and that the online gambling industry still has a lot to learn about the mobile gaming market. Something for operators to keep in mind is that while fancy apps for tablets and iphones seem to be a top priority, going back to the basics such as SMS betting can be a very effective as well.
Telemedia360 and iGaming Business did an excellent job pulling together this event and already have plans for improvement the next time around. Informative gaming conferences like this are exactly what the online gambling industry needs and CalvinAyre.com looks forward to the next one!