Since thousands of years, people have been betting on the outcomes of various games and events. This activity is carried at the places such as casinos, game parlors, bookmakers and currently online gambling. The online gaming market is one of the fastest growing segments of the gambling industry.
The market has witness online gaming business progressively moving globally, shifting the form of the gambling industry with many consumers adapting the Internet to gamble on slots, bet on sports or play cards. The roll-out of broadband services along with the rapid expansion of smartphone and tablet is one of the factors contributing to the growth of this market. Additionally, increased consumer confidence in effective and low-cost payment mechanisms; significant investment by the online gaming industry to promote its services is also further driving the market growth.
The online gambling and betting market is classified as sports betting, online poker, casino games including games such as slot machines, online bingo, and online lottery. Though, casinos and land-based lottery dominate the gambling landscape, online real-money betting and gambling are growing rapidly across the world.
This industry has witnessed varied regulatory landscape on online gambling and betting. Most of the Western European countries have laws in place to channelize online gambling and betting. Asian and North American countries’ major online real-money games are still awaiting progress in gambling and betting regulation. In the U.S. online gambling is legal only in three states whereas Asian countries allow gambling and betting only in casino resorts. Increasing demand of online betting and gambling is forcing governments to act to regulate.
Some of the key trends in online gambling and betting industry include social and mobile gambling. Increasing number of users for mobile gambling has propelled the growth of online gambling and betting market. Social gambling, developed from the aspiration of game developers to monetize gaming on social networks is a key trend followed by the market players. Moreover, the growing acceptance of the digital currency Bitcoin is another trend in online gambling, boosting the growth of the market.
U.S. States including New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware have allowed online gambling on their territories, with more states expected to follow in near future. In November 2013, New Jersey, the largest of the three, observed legalization of online casinos and generated almost USD 1 million during the first week of operations. The valued amount is analyzed to reach USD 10 million per month in 2014, with almost millions of users getting registered. Brazilian gamblers extensively use offshore sports betting and gambling websites. This market has observed substantial growth in 2014 owing to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. In Argentina and Mexico, online gambling is permitted only under special license. Argentina has the largest number of registered online gambling and betting websites in Latin America. With the legalization of online gambling in several U.S. states, Mexican casinos are expected to partner with them to boost the market.
New measures are being enacted in Europe owing to wide spreads online gambling activities. UK has started to tax online gambling based on the consumers\’ place of residence, to be effective from December 2014. This was initiated to conflict the loss of taxes on betting and gambling due to its gamblers shifting to offshore websites.
Asia-Pacific region is expected to witness one of the fastest growths in gambling and betting market. The growth is mainly driven by Australia that leads the world in terms of per person gambling, online sports betting. Japan has a legal online betting site with national lottery operator. In Kenya, the first regulated online gambling website was launched in 2013.
The market is expected to observe industry consolidation with mergers and acquisition in near future. For instance, Amaya Gaming Group Inc. acquired Rational Group in June 2014, a company that owns the popular Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars online sites. Some of the leading companies in the market include 888 Holdings, Betfair Group, Bwin Party, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, PokerStars, and William Hill Online among others.
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