New study shows average annual growth outstripping that of land gambling

A new study of the global gambling market by consultant Marco Felice Baranzelli predicts that online gambling will present better average annual growth through to 2012 than its land counterpart.

Baranzelli says that the global gaming market's gross gaming yield for 2007 reached $ 328.5 billion, up from US$ 309.6 billion in 2006. In year 2008, online gaming, including online lotteries is estimated to represent just 4.8 percent of the total.

But whereas the offline market is expected to generate only a modest average growth rate of 2.2 percent until 2012, the online market will achieve a very respectable average growth rates of 10.3 percent per annum until 2012, achieving a total market volume of $ 24.4 billion, or 6.3 percent of the overall market (including offline and lotteries).

Baranzelli says that the online gambling market has grown rapidly over the last few years and is expected to continue to expand over the next five. Internet means that geographical boundaries do not apply and online gaming. The convenient accessibility and take up of broadband services throughout the world in recent years has been a major crucial element in the growth of online gaming, which is still a relatively small sector, but is growing rapidly.

Baranzelli quotes some statistics to back his assertions:

* Global online gaming revenue: + 13.5 percent p.a. (from 2007 to 2012)

* Online poker revenue: + 16 percent p.a. (from 2007 to 2012)

* Online casino revenue: + 15 percent p.a. (from 2007 to 2012)

* Online sports betting revenue: + 11 percent p.a. (from 2007 to 2012)

The online gaming sector, excluding skill games/online lotteries (generally owned and controlled by government sponsored entities), consists of different segments. The largest segment is online sports betting followed by online casinos and poker, the consultant explains.

The main leading companies in the online gaming market have remained the same for several years with only a few operators achieving critical mass, he claims. Major companies operating in the market have not really changed for several years, although political events have had an impact: in 2006 in the US market the major companies represented approximately 48 percent of global online gaming turnover. By 2007, it had fallen to 36 percent, reflecting the withdrawal from the US market as a result of the UIGEA by a number of companies, together with accerating growth in other territories such as Europe.

Online poker: an annual growth rate of 16 percent

In 2007 the online poker market accounted for $ 3.0 billion, posting an increase of 107 percent, compared to the values generated in 2004, says Baranzelli. Poker has grown faster than the other online market segments in recent years, he says.

Europe's market share of the online poker market (38.4 percent in 2007), is expected to reach 47.9 percent in 2008, whereas the US market share will decline from 55.6 percent to 42.4 percent in the same period. Excluding the US, the online poker segment (in 2007, worth some $ 1.5 billion) is predicted to increase at a 16 percent CAGR between 2007 and 2012.

Online casinos: from $ 0.6 billion to $ 3.8 billion

In the year 2000 the online casinos market amounted to approximately $ 0.6 billion. Since then, global gross gaming yield from online casinos has grown quickly, reaching an
estimated $ 3.2 billion in 2007, a CAGR of 28 percent since 2000.

While the US online casino revenues declined by 24.7 percent in 2007, Europe's revenues showed strong growth, with an increase of 34.3 percent in 2007 over 2006. Excluding the US, the online casino market is
estimated to have been worth $ 1.9 billion in 2007 and it is expected that it will continue to grow strongly at approximately 15 percent per annum until 2012, when the total gross gaming yield in online casino, excluding the US, will be worth approximately US$ 3.8 billion.

Sports betting: Europe grows at 23 percent

In 2007 the global online sports betting market was estimated to be approximately $ 4.8 billion, a CAGR since 2000 of 19 percent. Excluding the US, which despite the legal difficulties of operating online is still believed to be the largest online sports betting market in the world, the size of the online sports betting market was approximately $ 3.4 billion in 2007, +17 percent over 2006.

The growth potential of sports betting is especially promising in Europe where an increase of 17.9 percent in 2007 is expected to be followed by a 23.4 percent upturn in 2008. In the absence of any material
changes in the regulatory environment this will increase to approximately $ 5.7 billion by 2012, a CAGR of 11 percent, says Baranzelli.

Baranzelli is an experienced gambling executive and consultant who specialises in company start-ups and restructures. Whilst heading Casino Lugano he moved the enterprise from a loss to a profit of 9 million, and at Casino Campione he turned the company around and back to profitability within 8 months. He is particularly well informed on the Italian gambling market.

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