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Online Gambling Report: Business climate worsened over the past few months

Is the online gambling industry losing its optimism? It appears so, according to a recent report issued by Media & Entertainment Consulting Network (MECN).

When asked to describe the current business climate, using one of the three options – “poor,” “satisfactory” and “good” – most of the online gambling operators chose “satisfactory.” “It seems that the business climate worsened over the past few months. In spring, as many as 42% of the market insiders considered the climate to be ‘good’ – a percentage that fell to 11% in fall,” the study’s co-author, Martin Oelbermann explained.

The revenue indicators confirm the downfall. For example, the average total revenue growth in the first half of 2013, in comparison to the year before, was 11%, decreasing by 7% in relation to the average revenue growth of the second half of 2012. The 2nd quarter of 2013, the revenue growth rate fell abruptly at 6%, from 30% recorded in the 1st quarter of 2012.

Furthermore, more and more industry experts are cautiously optimistic about the potential growth of online gambling, in the future, especially when it comes to social gaming and mobile gambling.

However, things could change in the next few months. One of the top operators in the market, 888 Holdings, expects to see a revenue boost as the company plans to re-enter the US market. The site is already operating in Nevada and will go live in the newly-regulated New Jersey market, set to open on November 26. “In 2014, we should start to see some meaningful revenues come through…Growth in the U.S. is coming along just in time to offset slowing growth in some of the current core products,” Chief Executive Brian Mattingley told Reuters.

New Jersey could become the new El Dorado not only for 888 but for most major players in the online gambling industry. According to a new report by Academicon and PokerScout, the state’s online poker market could be worth between $39 million and $65 million in its first year. And things could get better if other American states follow along. Mattingley strongly believes that this will be the case and states like New York or California will take the next step forward. “California is the prize. We are working flat out to identify some quality partners out there,” he added.

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Florian Gheorghe

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