MERRILL LYNCH STUDY CLAIMS ONLINE GAMBLING COULD BE A $528 BILLION INDUSTRY BY 2015
12 December 2006
Online gambling poised to pull $528bn – US shuns cash cow
By Burke Hansen in San Francisco
Tuesday 12th December 2006
Internet gaming is now the fastest growing segment of internet commerce, according to a report from Gamingpublic.com, an industry trade publication. Revenue in the sector is growing at a rate of 22 per cent per year.
Gamingpublic.com cited a Merrill Lynch study that concluded the global internet gaming market could reach – wait for it – $528bn annually by 2015.
Although the market as a whole is currently estimated by most analysts to be between $12bn and $30bn per annum, and overall growth is strong, fallout from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act passed by the US Congress last summer continues to plague the industry. Sportingbet PLC, one of the leading British companies in the gaming industry, recently posted a $471m loss as a result of the closure of its American operations.
After its CEO, Peter Dicks, was detained in New York by American authorities, Sportingbet PLC unloaded its American operations for a mere $1.
Online gambling currently accounts for only about 3 per cent of the global gambling market.