Fri, Sep 20, 10:20am by Kevin Pitstock
Aristocrat Leisure’s CEO says more gamblers “have a growing appetite” for mobile casino games, and that’s where he sees the future of electronic gaming. To prepare for a future when most gamblers are using a mobile platform, its CEO is saying Aristocrat is re-evaluating its mobile strategy.
In truth, Aristocrat Leisure is doing more than evaluating. From their actions of the past year, it’s obvious the Australian gaming company is well beyond the evaluation stage and is now acting with conviction.
In 2012, Aristocrat Leisure bought the US-based “Product Madness”, which is among the most popular mobile gaming app design companies on Facebook. While Facebook gambling is illegal in every country outside the United Kingdom, social network gaming is a good way to introduce potential gamblers to a product. It is a good advertisement at present, and social media gaming could become big business in the future.
Aristocrat, which has long been one of Australia’s top gaming companies, also launched nLive in the American market. Nlive is a line of online casino games which Americans can play. This move anticipates a trend among U.S. states to legalise gambling, despite continuing issues between gaming interests and the U.S. Justice Department.
At present, Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware have agreed to legalise online gambling, so long as operators are licensed in their states. If these states have success, more American states are expected to follow suit. If so, then nLive could become a major profit maker for Aristocrat Leisure. As Australian Gambling has reported, several Australian gaming companies have begun preparing for a time when they can legally sign up U.S. players from these three states, so Aristocrat’s efforts are part of an Aussie trend.
Aristocrat Leisure’s Chief Executive Officer, Jamie Odell, says his instincts say virtual gambling’s future lies in mobile devices. Odell says, “Intuitively, that’s where my heart says we should be moving to: to the future.”
Jamie Odell isn’t talking about some hunch, either. Market trends show that mobile gaming is the future. Statistics produced in March 2013 indicate that, if sales figures continue at their current pace, tablet computers will overtake desktop computers by 2015.
Many users already cannot imagine using a mouse-and-keyboard instead of a touchscreen. Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system was designed for mobile device users, much to the chagrin of high-volume desktop and laptop users.
Even at that, iPads are only part of the equation. For all the people who want to gamble at a mobile casino using their tablet, countless other punters want to use their iPhone or Android smartphone to gamble.
Despite the talk of the gambling industry’s future, Jamie Odell told The Australian Financial Review his company has no plans to become involved in the consolidation process which is taking place in the United States gambling industry.
Aristocrat was one of several companies interested in the US $1.09 billion Multimedia Games, but Odell said his group has no plans at present to acquire the Nasdaq-listed company. Odell told AFR, “We have no immediate plans for consolidation, but we continue to look at it.”
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