Two new reports from both the United States and England have shown that there is a sizeable interest in online poker, gaming overall and, surprisingly enough, the governmental regulation of the ever-growing industry.
The American Gaming Association, in their State of the States report for 2006, not only looked at the casino and racetrack gaming world but also took an in-depth look at the online gaming and poker scene as well. In the report, the AGA reports in a special section of the "State of the States" yearly review that the typical online player is a much younger participant in gaming activities than those that typically frequent casinos in the United States. The typical U.S. Internet gambler is under 40, is college-educated or has post-high school education of some sort, is male and is generally more affluent than his fellow citizens, according to the results of the AGA survey. There are other interesting discoveries as the rest of the forty-three page report is digested.
The poll was conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the AGA and found that 70 percent of respondents started gambling online within the past two years, indicating the growing popularity of Internet poker and gaming. Surprisingly, while Americans seem to be taking part in the online gaming industry, there is a tremendous amount of distrust of the industry as a whole. More than half of the respondents in the survey said that the offshore companies find ways to cheat their customers and nearly half of those surveyed felt that their fellow players were scheming to cheat.
In what was a very disingenuous part of the report, the AGA also questioned people's knowledge of the legal status of Internet gaming. When the participants in the survey were asked whether online poker was legal or not, about one in five said that it wasn't legal and the AGA added to this confusion by stating that it is currently illegal to wager online in the United States. To this date, no one has been prosecuted for playing on the Internet and the further legal status of doing so is murky at best. Even with this faux pas, the overall report of the AGA is a decent look at the world of the casinos, both online and in their physical forms.
"Even though our member companies currently aren't involved in the online gaming market and the overall percentage of Americans who gamble online is relatively small, there's no doubt this issue has captured the attention of the media, members of Congress and the American public," said Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., president and CEO of the AGA. "We strive to make each year's State of the States report the most comprehensive information resource not only on the current state of our industry, but the most significant emerging trends in gaming, so it was important that we take a look at this growing phenomenon."
In another interesting study in England, Britons indicated in a survey that they want their government to be more involved in the regulation of the online industry than they currently are. In England, a governmental organization known as the Gambling Commission has been set up to enforce the newly modified statutes of the Gambling Act. The respondents in the British survey also indicated that they were firmly behind a nationalization of gaming products and rooms as well.
The survey, commissioned by casino games inventor Prime Table Games, stated that three quarters of the respondents in the survey felt that online gaming sites should make it clear that they are being operated outside of the Commonwealth. Three out of ten players were firmly against the outsourcing of the operations of an online gaming company. In another interesting angle from the British survey, the question of affiliate programs came up. 81% of respondents felt that online sites should be forthright regarding commissions that are paid to affiliate program members and that, surprisingly, 44% would be less inclined to play at sites that have such programs. Commenting on the results of the survey, Derek Webb, the head of Prime Table Games, stated, "Gamblers have clear expectations of how online gaming should operate. It's vital that as the industry redefines itself in the light of the Gambling Act that the Gambling Commission aims to meet those expectations."
Through reading both studies you can obviously see the impact that the online gaming industry has in today's world. Both the AGA and Prime Table Games studies should be required reading for anyone who is involved in the gaming industry, has a voice in legislation, or participates either online or in the B&M establishments. To read over the two surveys in full, be sure to visit the AGA's website at americangaming.org and also visit Prime Table Games' results at primetablegames.com.
Ed Note:The results of this survey are in - Noble Poker has great poker action. Sign Up Today.