April 4, 2006
More than $4.5 billion is gambled every day around the world. North Americans flock to casinos, Asians prefer horse racing and Europeans take a chance with lotteries. However, last year, lotteries and casinos accounted for nearly two-thirds of all gambling profits worldwide.
Today, the Internet is revolutionizing the way money is won and lost, and Asia is fast becoming the gambler's destination of choice, says Simon Holliday of Global Betting and Gaming Consultants:
- Governments across Asia have loosened gambling restrictions; Macau's casinos now pull in more annual revenue than the Las Vegas Strip, and a new gaming arcade opens nearly every day in Moscow.
- Illegal gambling in Asia, is thought to be worth $50 billion a year.
- In Australia, 80 percent of adults gamble, often at one of the country's 200,000 gaming or poker machines. With an average annual loss of $641 per adult, Australians lose the most, worldwide.
- Poker Web sites gain popularity with revenues jumping from a paltry $20 million in 2000 to a projected $4 billion this year and over $20 billion in the next five years. With revenues at just about 5 percent of gambling's global total, the Internet has major growth potential.
Source: Simon Holliday, "Risky Business," Foreign Policy, March/April 2006.
For text (subscription required):
Browse more articles on International Issues