Mobile gambling boosts Sportingbet

Mobile gambling boosts Sportingbet

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Sportingbet has seen a rise in customers gambling through smartphones

Online bookmaker Sportingbet said it has seen an increase in punters gambling on-the-go amid the growing popularity of smartphones.

The Channel Islands-based company said the number of customers gambling from mobiles had increased ten-fold since it launched a special iPhone application six months ago.

Some 10,000 customers now actively gamble with Sportingbet from their phones, accounting for more than 7% of regular customers in its biggest markets. This growth is expected to continue as smartphones become more common.

The trend helped live betting on sporting fixtures rise 27% in the quarter to 31 October.

Total amounts wagered increased by 11% to £513.9 million, while underlying profits rose 17% to £11.3 million, aided by growth in online gaming in Australia.

The company is benefiting from the increased availability of broadband and growing confidence in the internet for financial transactions.

Earlier this month it said it had pulled out of merger talks with Sweden’s Unibet but is still in talks with other parties.

Analysts think it is likely to join forces with a rival. It recently agreed to pay £21.3 million to the Unites States Department of Justice over online gaming, bringing to an end a long running legal issue that had been hanging over it and clearing the way for mergers and acquisitions.

It announced this month it had entered into a joint-venture with Russia’s second largest bookmaker, First International Bookmakers Company.

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