Online Gambling: Slow Growth Predicted for 2011

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        After analyzing the first five months of the year and taking into account recent events in the United States and Japan, H2 Gambling Capital has revised its forecast for revenues for the online gambling sector down from €25.0 billion to €23.76 billion. That means that the rate of growth will be just 4.4 percent instead of 10.2 percent, the lowest increase in the industry since H2 started tracking in 1998.

        The company issued a press release saying that "Black Friday (and subsequent actions) occurring in the U.S. has decimated the scale of the Internet poker industry in that market. At this state we have calculated that the impact will equate to as much as €765 million of lost market value this year and a further €100 million next year."

        The tragic events in Japan also had an impact on the industry: "The Japanese Racing Association remains by far the largest interactive operator in the world. Following the earthquake all aspects of their business were down and particularly mobile betting as people freed up the networks for emergency care."

        The industry received a boost from the opening of the Italian market this summer, along with projected opening of markets in Spain, Greece and Belgium in 2012. About the U.S. situation, the H2 representatives are not too optimistic: "There appears to be some buy-in across party lines to at least consider the issue more closely. 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."

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