Online poker and other forms of gambling were illegal in the United States in 2011. Similar laws were in force in multiple European and Asian countries around the world as well, yet Hollywood movies are promoted, shipped to, and viewed in every corner of the globe. And yet even so, Hollywood barely matched a mere 20% of the amount of income created by online wagering and gambling in 2011 in South America alone. Hollywood movies grossed a little under $26 billion worldwide in 2011, but online gaming in poker rooms, casinos, bingo halls and sportsbooks in just South America totaled more than $124 billion.
Global Information Inc. released that information as part of their 2012 Global Online Gambling and Betting Report, which reveals that not only is there a worldwide market for regulated online wagering, but that the possible monies generated by licensing, regulating and taxing nationally and internationally sponsored online wagering could turn around state and country economic situations virtually overnight. And the South American numbers come with online wagering and gambling only entirely legal in Chile and Argentina. In the Asia-Pacific area, online gambling has only been legalized thus far in the Philippines. In Europe, it is a country by country situation.
Global Information also reported that mobile gambling and wagering accounted for less than 1% of the entire global market in 2011, but they said they notice trends are markedly up in that area. In the United States less than 10% of all Americans participate in online gambling, but more than 50% play the lottery. After the United States Department of Justice called an about-face on their online gambling legislation stance in December of last year, Delaware and Nevada have passed legislation allowing online poker play, and Nevada said they could be up and running, and virtually dealing poker, as early as late September this year.
With the numbers in the billions of dollars, it is easy to see why many state level legislators are pushing for the legalization of online poker in the United States. And as more European countries begin to legalize online gambling in the form of poker, casino gambling, online lottery ticket purchasing and sportsbooks, pressure becomes stronger here in the United States to follow suit. Every penny spent online gambling in the United States goes overseas currently, and with our current economic situation here in the US, many politicians are using the online gambling entity and its attractive revenue generation possibilities as an election platform.
One key statistic that is sure to draw the attention of US pro-online gambling legislators and would-be players concerns growth in Europe. Global Information claims that their data shows online wagering in Germany is currently growing at a 20+% annual rate and can sustain that rate through 2015. Comparing the possible United States player pool to Germany’s makes the picture even more attractive, and 20+ percent annual growth in a billion business could singlehandedly change the economic outlook of many local and state communities in the United States by merely providing a service US players are already enjoying.