iPhone adds real-money bets in leap forward for mobile gambling industry
LONDON -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- iPhone users in the U.K. will be able to gamble with real money via their smartphones for the first time. The site, which specializes in news and reviews of mobile casino games, confirms that Big Fish Games Inc. is to introduce a new Big Fish Casino app, which will accept real-money wagers.
The app is a rebranded version of the Seattle-based company's highly successful mobile-social casino game, Card Ace: Casino, and will feature slots, video poker, roulette and blackjack. In contrast to the free-to-play Card Ace: Casino, the newly revamped version will allow users to gamble with real money via the app for the first time. The new Big Fish Casino app will be available through iOS, Google's Android platform, and through Facebook too.
However, the real-money betting options will only be available to users within the U.K., where mobile gambling and online gambling are legal, provided that they are over 18 years old. The app has been specifically redesigned to make gameplay easier for smartphone and tablet users, and Big Fish isn't the first gaming brand to overhaul its products for a more mobile generation.
Betfair's latest financial results, covering the six months to the end of October 2011, show strong year-on-year growth for the company's mobile division. Over this six-month period, over £800 million was traded through its mobile service, resulting in £9.1 million in revenue. Real-money mobile gambling accounted for 7.3% of its overall exchange revenue, up 96% year-on-year.
Facebook also introduced its first real-money gambling app last month. Bingo & Slots Friendzy allows users in the U.K. to play a variety of bingo and slots games with real money via Facebook for the first time, rather than using Facebook credits.
According to http://www.mobilecasinogame.co.uk real-money apps developers are finding a useful testing ground in the U.K., known for its more relaxed gaming laws, where online gambling and mobile gambling are legal. With debt-ridden European governments searching for new revenue streams, it might not be too long before we see real-money mobile gaming extend outside the U.K.