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The USA remains the top gambling nation in the world – pulling in an estimated $105 billion US dollars in 2012 alone. But with China fast moving up the rankings and Nevada now coming second to Macau as the go-to high stakes haven– is it time for the US government to stop dragging its feet over online gambling law and take a bigger bite out of that $30 billion dollar virtual pie?
While Nevada (and shortly New Jersey) does have an online gambling licence and a growing number of online casinos such as Jackpot Capital Casino allow US gamers to take a cyber-spin at the roulette wheel, according to H2 Gambling Capital, only 3.3 percent of US gambling revenue in 2012 was interactive. However, with over 100 million Americans already playing games on their mobiles and global markets indicating a 42% increase in online gambling spends over the past 4 years – it’s a source waiting to be tapped.
Countries with more relaxed gambling laws have been taking advantage of the general online gaming boom and luring customers to betting, poker and casino sites for years. Here’s a roundup of some of the biggest winners and losers and a few surprising stats.
The Top Stakes
The British made around 21% of their gambling share from online this year, with the most popular game being roulette. Men outplay women by almost 5 to 1 and it’s estimated will spend 14 months of their life placing their bets online – that’s about the same as watching Die Hard 4,636 times…
The Nordic countries (Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland and Denmark) are an unexpected entry. With a combined population of only 20.9 million they brought in $8.5 billion from gambling in 2012 of which over 30.3% was online. The swedes are big players and the government keeps a tight monopoly on their igames market
Although a South Korean pop star (anyone remember his name?) broke the record for the number of YouTube hits in 2012 and whilst South Korea is the most wired country in the world, igambling is still illegal.
China too, with one of the world’s largest online gaming markets, keeps the ban in place, but still managed to draw in $50 billion from gambling in 2012, even when limiting its land based casinos to Macau.
The Australians are literally the biggest losers in the world, with the average adult losing $1300 USD per year on real and online slots and stakes. That’s about the price of 3 iPads or 300 big macs – whichever you prefer**.
Whilst some of the biggest players in the world continue to legislate against online gambling, it can be hard to see its true potential. But with the global online games market continuing to expand at a rapid rate, it wouldn’t be a bad placed bet to start letting more people visit the casino from their couches.