Is the party
finally over for online casinos?
When one of the top
online casinos, based in Gibraltar, went public on the London
Stock Exchange in June 2005 in one of the most ballyhooed
initial stock offerings of the year, the shares soared, lifting
the company's market value to more than $10 billion. A little
more than a year later, however, the shares have slumped,
bringing them roughly back to where they started. What is the
future of online casinos?
“We are already seeing signs of successful online gambling
brands separating themselves from the rest of the pack,” said
Calvin Ayres, an online casinos mogul and recent cover star on
Online casinos have enjoyed unbelievable growth on the Internet
in recent years, and this explosive expansion has come with much
scrutiny and has created quite the crowded marketplace. But the
current state of online casinos is healthy and ripe with new
developments and news. The industry is always exciting.
Many websites now cater to betting, and the poker craze that has
hit online casinos shows no signs of slowing down. Continued
consumer interest in sports gambling, with such high profile
events as the Super Bowl, soccer’s World Cup, and the NCAA March
Madness Tournament attracting bettors, online casinos continue
to experience great times.
Despite the good news for online casinos, and the increased
profits and buzz, new debates over the legality of online
casinos and the morality of Internet gambling are underway. The
U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on a bill that
would curb Internet gambling and severely cripple the online
casinos and the means by which consumers deposit and withdraw
their money in the over $12 Billion dollar a year industry.
It is still currently against the law to operate online casinos
within the United States, but while it may be illegal to operate
the casinos inside US borders, this has not stopped millions of
Americans from playing at online casinos and visiting these
offshore gambling sites.
Many online casinos experts think that the U.S. must accept the
regulation of these websites.
Online casinos create a fortune of revenue through high-class,
start of the art technology and powerful imagery.
Is the party fading for the Internet gambling companies after
several years of torrid growth?
Actually, many analysts say they see no sign of an end to the
boom. Christiansen Capital Advisors, a U.S.-based consulting
firm, says global online gambling revenue will rise to more than
$24 billion by 2010 from $15 billion this year and $3 billion in
2001. Growth in Internet versions of casino games like roulette
may have eased slightly, but poker is surging, and the World Cup
soccer tournament is serving as a catalyst for online sports
"The results remain strong, but there's some concern about the
U.S. situation, where the status quo has been good" for Internet
gambling companies, said Graham Clucas, a director in the media
and entertainment practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers in London,
one of the top firms.