Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), one of the giants among accountancy firms worldwide has recently published a report on “Global Casino and Online Gaming Market to 2014”. This lengthy but must-read report discusses the land-based and online casino industry including players, trends, and revenue growth, to name a few. We have gone one step ahead by digesting selected sections of the report and summarizing them for you. It is worthy to mention that we have chosen contents relevant to this site and have summarized these alongside some of our inputs (Readers who wish to get a glimpse of the report details may visit
Casino Revenue Figures – Actual and Estimates
PwC’s report came out in two parts. The first part contains discussions on land-based casinos while the second touches on online casinos. While this site focuses on online casinos, a discussion on land-based casinos cannot be ignored at this point considering its huge operations and strong influence on its online counterpart. Probably for lack of reliable and credible sources, revenue figures from online gambling were excluded from the PwC report. The company however came out with revenue figures derived from regulated online gambling. PwC reports that for 2009 alone, revenue derived from gambling worldwide was a whopping US$100.5 billion. The company further estimates that this will reach US$156.8 billion or a hefty 56 percentage points increase by year-end 2014.
Asia Pacific Region – Gaining Headway
Everyone knows that Asia is being touted as the next global champion, thus it didn’t come as a surprise when PwC reported that the Asia Pacific Region industry players, specifically Macau, has already surpassed Nevada’s casino revenues in 2008. Asia Pacific countries like Australia and South Korea have become major players as they accounted for 92% of the region’s casino revenues for 2008. Singapore is not to be left behind as it occupied the number three slot among the regions revenue contributor for the same year.
Recession and US Casinos
In the US, casino owners are experiencing a less than favorable output. The recent economic recession has had negative repercussions on casino owners in Nevada and Atlantic City. Casino owners were not spared of the crisis. As expected, revenues took a nosedive. As a precautionary measure, the New Jersey government is reportedly preparing to submit an Online Gambling Bill which would help casinos outside of Atlantic City to obtain operating licenses.
Shifts and Directions
PwC also reported major directions to be taken by online casinos within a four-year time frame. Below is a brief discussion of these directions including our views.
1. Cross-Border Gambling
The practice of keeping casino operations within territories or states are backed up by their respective governments however, this set up may not gain a strong foot hold in the coming years. Casino owners, especially those operating within smaller states or regions would find ways to broaden its customer reach. The Powerball multistate lottery in the US and selected provinces in Canada are gearing towards creating a poker network. Apparently, crossing borders would be inevitable as business owners try to provide its local customers with as many players to play against.
2. Government and Taxation
Like any other business or going concern, casinos are also taxed by the Government. Understandably, Government would want higher revenue from taxes however, it may be wise to temper its imposition of taxes (including regulations) if it wants the industry to thrive. Too much imposition of taxes and stringent regulations may kill the industry. On-line gambling in France for instance has blamed the French Government for its poor performance due to regulations and taxes. Gaming businesses in UK also experienced the same heavy imposition of taxes. For this reason, a premier gambling business in UK has decided to pull-out and relocate its head office offshore.
3. Societal Views and Values
People have different perspectives about gambling. Poker for instance is viewed as game of strategy and entails analytical skills from among its players. On the other hand, table games in casinos are often times viewed as merely a game of chance and is unlikely to gain widespread acceptance compared with poker games. In the US, horse racing has evolved into a legal activity in various states. Sports-betting has likewise become a big industry in the US.
A few years ago, the UIGEA Bill was passed to control illegal online gambling although there are entities pushing for its repeal. We can go on discussing a host of other forms of gambling and the public’s different views on these. The bottom line is each form of gambling draws varied reactions from multiple sectors of society. The saying “Different folks, different strokes” strongly applies.
4. The Social Network Bandwagon
Many might be wondering whether a deal could possibly be forged between the popular social network Facebook and Harrahs. Deal or no deal, social networks are bound to take on a major role in promoting online casinos. It is interesting to note that apart from Harrahs, other online casino businesses have expressed growing interest in joining the social networking bandwagon. Apparently, more and more casino business owners recognize the value of social utilities and their huge contribution to increasing customer base and revenues. One proof is the growing number of Zynga poker fans who play poker for free via Facebook.
Overall, it seems that growth of online casinos (including land-based ones) will be greatly influenced by Government’s laws and regulations on casinos and strategies on achieving revenue growth in the coming years. Of course we cannot discount the role of the general public in shaping the future of casinos worldwide. Whether or not it is ready to embrace gambling as a legitimate source of entertainment for mature and responsible adults still remains to be seen. Lastly, forging ties with social networks have become a trend among casino owners as they recognize its valuable contribution to market presence and revenue growth.
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