New research from independent market analysts Datamonitor reveals that the online and iTV gambling market is set to boom over the next few years. Combined revenues from both in the U.S. and Europe are predicted to grow from an estimated $6.7bn in 2001 to $20.8bn in 2005.
Online gambling: a discrete but massive market
While many B2C sites struggle to get out of the red, online gambling sites are quietly turning comfortable profits. According to Datamonitor, online gambling companies will generate revenues of $6.6bn in 2001. Growth will continue unabated to reach $13.6bn in 2005. The number of online gamblers in Europe and the US will grow from 2.9 million in 2001 to 7.4 million in 2005.
American consumers have rapidly adopted to this new form of Singapore Online Casino gambling and the US is the biggest market. Despite legal uncertainties regarding the legality of gambling, its 1.9 million online gamblers are currently earning this business an estimated $4.2bn in revenues.
The European market is beginning to develop, and the U.K. is spearheading its growth. And despite the fact that online gambling is still prohibited in some countries, many European consumers have started to gamble on sites that appeal to them with country-specific offerings. Furthermore, the gradual entry of established bookmakers into the online gambling industry is building up the credibility and reputation of this market.
“Despite adverse conditions due to legal restrictions, the online gambling market is thriving,” said Jacob Hayler, gambling analyst, Datamonitor plc. “This shows the strong appeal of this content with consumers. The dot-com crash has led many to think of the Internet as an unprofitable medium. This clearly does not apply to online gambling.”
iTV gambling is off to a flying start
Gambling will soon be reaching out to a massive audience and into an environment, the living room, ideally suited for entertainment purposes. The advent of interactive television (iTV) means that the gambling industry now has the potential to target a very attractive audience — the armchair sport fans.
As iTV replaces analog TV, the arrival of gambling services on this platform will hold much potential for the gambling industry. Furthermore, enhanced TV technologies are gradually enabling companies to overlay gambling services with live events. Sports betting, followed by lotteries, will be the most popular major form of gambling on iTV. Casinos are unlikely to be featured on iTV gambling services as they do not fit in with the family image that iTV network providers want to promote.
The U.K. and France are currently the only countries where iTV gambling has been rolled out. Although still in its infancy, just one year running, iTV gambling is already showing strong signs of growth. Datamonitor estimates that in 2001 alone, the European market will be worth $130mn, skyrocketing to a predicted $7.1bn in 2005.
Datamonitor expects that other European countries will phase in these services, in light of their success in the U.K. and France. However, due to legal restrictions, Datamonitor cannot foresee any introduction of iTV gambling in the U.S. market in the medium term.
“iTV gambling will be a very profitable market. However, due to nature of this distribution medium and the involvement of governments in this market, entry barriers will be high and only a few companies will be able to benefit from these growing revenues,” according to Hayler.