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Online Gambling Popular, But Could it be Illegal?
has hit the jackpot.
After years of growth, its poised for its biggest year. That
reflects a growing obsession with poker, advances in broadband and
wireless technology and the temptation to strike it rich from a PC.
More than 2,000 gambling online casinos this year will rake in nearly $10
billion in revenue, most from U.S. consumers. Thats up 40 percent from
2004, making online gambling one of the Webs largest moneymakers.
Poker revenue is expected to double to more than $2 billion and
attract 1 million players a month. Americans play at 266 poker Web
sites, up from 53 in June 2003, says gaming site CasinoCity (www.casinocity.com).
Poker has jolted the industry, says Mike Sexton, who consults for
PartyPoker (www.partypoker.com), which is expected to haul
in $1 billion in revenue this year.
Technology and television are paving the way. Peer-to-peer technology
lets players compete head-to-head over the Internet in real time.
Matches on ESPN, Bravo and the Travel Channel draw solid ratings. The
popularity of poker, in turn, has further legitimized an industry once
considered taboo by squeamish bettors.
The fear factor is largely going away, says Alex Czajkowski,
marketing director for Sportsbook.com. The bigger, more reputable
online casinos are not going to rip you off, and more people are
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2004 Online Casino News Archive