The Economist, one of the world’s leading business magazines, has published a detailed report on the growth of online casinos and online poker in the US highlighting the huge amounts of money involved in online gambling, poker and UIGEA (the anti-online gambling law).
The report also identifies the increasing awareness by the business community of legal and regulatory issues facing the online casino sector in the US.
The Economist report claims that: “In 2007 nearly half of America’s population and over two-thirds of Britain’s bet on something or other. Hundreds of millions of lottery tickets are sold every week. The global gambling market is estimated to be worth around $335 billion a year. Last year Las Vegas alone raked in gambling revenues of $10.4 billion and Macau $14.7 billion.”
“H2, a gambling consultancy, puts the global online-poker market at $4.9 billion, of which America (where the game’s legal status is dubious) accounts for $1.4 billion,” the article also states. “In absolute terms online gambling remains a small part of the global betting market: a mere 8% in 2009, with revenues of about $26 billion, according to H2. But last year it rose even as the overall market fell. In the coming years it is expected to grow even more: 13% a year, says H2, with revenues rising to $36 billion by 2012.”
The Economist, not afraid to throw out its opinion on occasion, goes on to say: “Government prohibition of online gambling has worked about as well as prohibition of other online content, which is to say it is observed mainly in the breach. America remains the world’s biggest single online gambling market by far, despite the passage in 2006 of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA)-a provision tacked onto a port-security bill that prohibits the transfer of funds from a financial institution to an online gambling site. After the ban some established sites closed down their American operations, but others filled the void. Americans are gambling roughly the same amount online as they did in 2006.”
The Special Report is an exhaustive analysis of the online gambling industry, filling 13 web pages and leaving no part of the story untouched. It’s recommended reading for those interested in the business side of the online gambling ban, and for those fighting the big poker “skill vs change” fight. The report can be found by Googling ‘economist UIGEA gambling report’.
By Louis Redwood
Owner of Online Casinos Review King, where casino games are in abundance Online Casinos Review King