Thursday, U.S. cell-phone developer Hop-on announced plans to unveil cellular-gambling software for the Linux-based Android Platform. The unveiling will take place next month at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas.
Android is a 3G-networked software platform and operating system, which was initially developed by Google and later became the brainchild of the Open Handset Alliance – a 34-member consortium of handset makers, application developers, mobile carriers and chipmakers. The Hop-on software will offer Android users video games as well as live-streaming baccarat, poker, blackjack and roulette and will feature open-source licensing, the company said.
The news comes as analysts name cellular gaming as one of the few silver linings in an otherwise-bleak recessionary cloud. Alexander Resources forecasts, “Mobile-gaming revenues are set to reach $16 billion.” And High Beam Research concluded, “2008 has been an encouraging year for a number of mobile gambling service providers, with many seeing total wager increasing by [sic] more than 100 percent.”
The caveat, as High Beam pointed out, is that “The rollout of such services has been limited to a few key markets, most notably the U.K.”
Yet Hop-on President and CEO Peter Michaels indicated that the company plans to cater to a limited market with its software.
“We will be bringing mobile gaming to Europe where gaming is legal, secure and regulated,” Michaels said.
Michaels went on to say, “New 3G wireless technologies and phones will play a big role in the growth of mobile gaming by making it more convenient and secure. These new networks and phones will (make) real-time, exciting player-to-player betting… possible.”
Hop-on said the Android will retail for less than $200 and that the software will “be available in any language and in any currency.”