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Category:  Press » Recreation & Sports

 

Online Gaming Spawns $30 Billion Global Market

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2010-09-04 03:30:43     
Jeremy Brownsword

Bolstered by the growing popularity of sports betting such as football picks and many other games, the lucrative online gambling industry continues to thrive today despite lingering challenges facing many of the world’s advanced economies that have yet to find a way out of financial mess wrought by the 2008 credit crunch.

Online gaming has emerged today as one of the main growth areas rapidly escalating around the internet and a driving force behind phenomenal expansion of both domestic offshore financial transactions.

Financial and gaming analysts could not place the exact figure on the consolidated size of online gambling but various estimates range within the vicinity of $20 billion-$50 billion in revenues annually.

Coming off from a respectable trade value of $6 billion in 2003, online gaming topped an estimated $20 billion market in 2008 before zooming up to over $30 billion mark today.

Analysts however predict the figures could go up substantially if other forms of online wagering which are yet to be legalized are taken into account.

“The figures represent only a fraction of how the entire pie looks if we add up the larger chunk from unregulated and unreported transactions, therefore untaxed sum derived from illegal online gambling,” the analysts said.

The NFL bets alone could generate a hefty $150 billion a year, although estimates could go as high as $380 billion annually, according to a gaming analyst based in London.

In the U.S., efforts to legalize, regulate and tax online sports betting are buoyed by measures to amend or repeal the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act which specifically forbids banks and related financial firms from processing payments to offshore gambling websites.

The same legislative proposals also seek to amend the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 or also known as the ‘Bradley Act,’ which prohibits sports betting across the U.S., with the exception of a few states such as Nevada.

It was reported that said measures are gaining grounds with the approval recently at the House committee level of a bill allowing U.S. residents to place bets online with companies regulated by the Treasury Department.

With some 20,000-25,000 currently active sites serving clients all over the world, online gambling market assumes a wide range of gaming sites aside from sports betting and sportsbooks, like online casinos that feature poker, slots, bingo parlors, lotteries and old favorite horse racing sites, among others.
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