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ONLINE GAMBLING NOW A MAJOR GLOBAL MARKET
posted 2/23/11 : Latest study by gambling consultants shows continued growth
The Interactive Gambling Report from Isle of Man-based consultants Global Betting & Gaming Consultants, released earlier this month, shows that the international internet gambling market has grown by 12 percent in 2010, reaching US$ 29.32 billion in gross gaming yield.
Expansion is likely to continue, the company concludes, predicting growth in 2011 of 14 percent as individual national markets pursue a policy of regulation rather than banning; the popularity of live sports betting burgeons; state lotteries become larger and enter the online gaming space; and betting becomes more widespread with the increasing use of mobile technologies.
By 2014 the industry could be valued at around $40 billion, with the possibility of even more spectacular growth should there be a breakthrough in the legalisation of the pastime in the United States.
GBGC studied Internet gambling from the perspectoives of national and provincial (state) regulation, advertising, mobile and interactive TV gambling, languages and localisation in the compilation of the 70 page report
The report notes that 41 percent of revenues are currently generated by sports betting, with online poker and casino operations bringing in 46 percent, and a rapidly growing internet bingo sector contributing $1.3 billion in 2010 alone.
Commenting on the recent UK Gambling Prevelance report, where the media made much of what were in truth very small increases in problem gambling, GBGC chief Warren Bartlett pointed out that the UK’s gross gaming yield per capita in 2009 was lower than in those countries with historical gambling traditions such as Australia, Hong Kong, USA and Ireland. It was also lower than some countries that have developed their gambling markets more recently such as Italy and Finland.
“Gambling is a much less problem for the country than alcohol consumption where 8 percent of people drink to the point where their health is in danger,” says Bartlett. “In 2008, there were 6,769 deaths directly related to alcohol according to the National Health Service. No one died from playing the lottery or having a bet. The survey should also be extended to gambling with exotic financial instruments where the results can be catastrophic, as we have seen since the collapse of Lehman Brothers.”
Other interesting data from GBGC is that the booming and regulated Italian market could be even larger; an estimated 30 percent of the nation's gambling is still illegal and unlicensed. The company notes in a statement: "The new law of 2007 was meant to reduce illegal gambling by providing the gambler with more legal gambling services, better protection, and improved gambling facilities.
"In the first few years it was an apparent success but GBGC now detects that it is starting to unravel.
"The starting point for a license in Italy is a bond of Euro 300,000 but it can be Euro 1.5 million for a start-up with no previous licence. Such high costs create a significant barrier to entry particularly for the small operator and discrimination against the start ups will work against the state in a number of ways."
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