Thursday, June 16 2011 : Slowest growth in almost a decade
Legal actions in the United States, the world economy and earthquakes in Japan have all adversely impacted the e-gaming business, according to the latest assessment from the respected independent consulting firm H2 Gambling Capital.
After assessing recent corporate results, the company has reviewed and revised its forecasts for 2011, noting that at 4.4 percent, the industry growth rate is the lowest since 1998. H2's revised numbers predict that internet gambling gross win for 2011 will be Euro 23.76 billion rather than the Euro 25 billion originally forecast, and that growth of 10.2 percent is now unlikely to be achieved.
Aside from the global economic crisis, Black Friday's impact on internet poker companies, and the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disaster's effect on the massive interactive operations of the Japanese Racing Association, were cited as principal causes for the slowdown.
H2 commented that the enforcement actions against online poker in the United States have "decimated" operations in that market.
"At this stage we have calculated that the impact will equate to as much as Euro 765 million of lost market value this year and a further Euro 100 million loss next,” the consultancy noted, adding that it expects the Japanese Racing Association's interactive operations to decline by almost 13 percent compared with 2010.
Excluding the negative influence of the US and Japanese markets, the international e-gaming business gross win will however, grow by 12 percent this year, the report continues, pointing out that the introduction of cash poker and casino activity in the Italian online market will provide an important fillip, whilst Belgium, Spain and Greece are all expected to legalise and regulate online gambling going into 2012.
Looking on the bright side, H2 observes that the situation in the United States could in time improve if federal legalization of online poker is achieved.
"There appears to be some buy-in across party lines to at least consider the issue more closely," H2 comments. "However, H2 remain of the view that it will be at least three to five years before any significant regulated activity will be seen on the ground in the U.S."