Global Betting & Gaming Consultants (GBGC) has released its latest Global Interactive Gambling Market Report, which claims that the online gambling market was worth $29.3b in 2010. Broken down by channel, sports betting accounted for 41% of the total, with ‘gaming products’ (poker and casino) being credited with 46% and bingo with 4.4%. The $29.3b figure represents a 12% gain over 2009’s tally, and GBGC expects the number to continue making impressive gains, reaching $41.7b by 2014.
Warwick Bartlett, GBGC’s CEO, says online gambling “is clearly growing strong roots and becoming more of a mainstream leisure pursuit.” Assisting this continued growth are the European nations who have already hopped on the online gambling bandwagon (France, Italy) and the others who are anxious to join them (seven are putting forward legislation in 2011). Bartlett also gives credit to increased broadband availability, the rapidly rising tide of mobile phone gambling applications and the tsunami that is Asian handicap betting on European football.
Online gambling was responsible for 5.7% of the overall gambling market in 2007, but GBGC expects that slice of the pie to grow to 9.4% by 2012. However, the report notes that, while the online gambling pie keeps getting bigger, the companies carving it up aren’t necessarily reaping greater profits. Much of the blame goes to steadily increasing marketing costs, and the small matter of those neophyte gambling nations overreaching by imposing onerous taxation and regulatory regimes.
The GBGC also takes issue with the recent findings of the British Gambling Prevalence Survey. According to Bartlett, “gambling is a much less problem for the country than alcohol consumption where 8% of people drink to the point where their health is in danger. 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.”