Securities and investment firm Bear Stearns has just released a report that confirms the rapid growth of the online gaming industry – and the American government’s inability to address the issue once and for all.
According to the report, titled E-Gaming Revisited – At Odds With The World, the number of online gambling web sites has doubled over the past year, to somewhere between 1,200 and 1,400 sites. It goes on to suggest that this rapid growth has opened the door for companies looking to cash in on an industry that could be worth $5 billion by 2003.
The report also tackled the hot topic of online gaming legislation. In recent years, there have been several attempts to ban Internet gambling in the U.S. But Bear Stearns gaming analyst, Marc Falcone noted, “I get the impression most legislators realize how difficult it would be to ban online gambling from every computer in the United States. I think they would be much more successful in at shaping a regulatory landscape.”
Bear Stearns suggests that several brick-and-mortar casinos in the U.S. are prepared to take advantage of any opportunities provided by legalized online gambling. The majority of online casinos are currently located in offshore destinations such as Antigua, Bermuda, Costa Rica, and South Africa.
The report presents some interesting statistics about online gambling, and online gamblers themselves. It suggests that this group generally has a lower income than the majority of Internet users, but that they spend more on e-commerce transactions than other users.
Furthermore, it notes that almost 50 percent of gambling web site revenues come from the U.S., in spite of the legal issues surrounding online gaming in the United States.
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