According to new research released by H2 Gambling Capital, the online gaming and betting sector increased 7.2 percent from 2011 by grossing $33 billion globally in 2012. That is more than twice the growth of the land-based gambling sector, which increased 3.1 percent in 2012, and 8 percent of all gross gaming revenues generated by the gambling sector last year — though mobile gaming and betting figures were not included in the study.
The America Gamin Association (AGA) has also stated that the same research revealed $2.6 billion of the gross came from illegal offshore gambling by Americans. There are hopes to use the research in tandem with the October 4 theatrical release of the Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake film Runner Runner, which is a fictional account of a the offshore online gaming world involving greed and corruption.
"That sadly is not far from reality for millions of Americans who simply want to enjoy one of our favorite pastimes in a safe online environment," said Geoff Freeman, the president and CEO of the AGA. "Americans account for nearly 10 percent of the global online gaming marketplace at a time when the business is illegal in all but three American states. It is past time for policymakers to put necessary safeguards in place."
The AGA continues to encourage federal legislation that does three things:
- Sets minimum standards for consumer protection, age verification, responsible gaming and programs to assist those with gambling disorders
- Creates a regulatory framework for Native American casino operators
- Provides tools for law enforcement to prosecute illegal operators
"The alternative to the approach AGA recommends is a state-by-state patchwork of regulations across a borderless Internet where the black market will continue to thrive in states that choose not to pass legislation," Freeman said.
To capitalize on the recent trend of states passing online legislation, the AGA hopes to use Runner Runner "to educate policymakers and engage the general public." They will do so through the following outlets:
- Advertisements on AMC’s portfolio of 26 websites, such as IMDB and ABCNews.com, as well as Google, Facebook and Twitter
- Aggressive social media outreach and education
- The launch of a Runner Runner microsite providing further information on the risks associated with the current marketplace and the need for immediate action by policymakers
While the AGA is focused on the online poker in the United States, H2’s figures actually reveal that Europe accounts for 12.6 percent of the market (compared to North America’s 4.4 percent). What’s more, Europe, headlined by the UK, accounted for 46 percent of the growth in 2012. Asia and North American came in second and third with 28 percent and 17 percent, respectively. Here are some other highlights from the study according to iGaming Business, which entered into an exclusive data partnership with H2:
- The industry is expected to grow 7.9 percent in 2013 at a compound average growth rate of 9.3 percent to reach €42.9 billion by 2018
- Sports betting accounted for 46 percent of gross win in 2012
- Online casinos generated 17 percent of the sector’s gross win
- Poker continued to decline producing 13 percent of the sector’s gross win in 2012
In regard to the aforementioned exclusive deal, Alex Pratt, Publisher of iGaming Business, said: "H2 Gambling Capital has proved itself as the leading supplier of business data and we’re absolutely delighted that it has agreed to be part of our new editorial projects. We relaunched our igamingbusiness.com website this summer and the feedback and traffic have been excellent so far. We look forward to H2’s input with all things data and are confident it will push us onto even better things as we develop over the next few months."