Global gambling revenue grew to a record $419 billion last year, according to Global Betting & Gaming Consultants (GBGC).
Revenue rose 5.6% from $397 billion in 2010 and is forecast to reach $448 billion this year. However, all that glitters isn’t due to the gold (or coins and cash) in Las Vegas; the growth in gambling revenue is due to Asia. According to GBGC’s Director Lorien Pilling, “The strongest growth was in Macau, Singapore and Cambodia, as emerging markets proved more resilient to the global economic crisis than developed countries.” In fact, the GBGC’s forecast that global gambling revenues will reach 500 billion by 2014 is based on the number of new casinos under development in Asia and the relatively new gambling options in Singapore.
The GBGC also predicts that the Vegas strip won’t be back until 2014. “The recovery started toward the end of 2009. In spite of a 9% uplift from 2009 to 2011 Vegas has a long way to go and on current growth rates and the prospect of some Federal budget balancing after the Presidential election we predict that 2014 will be the year when Vegas is back to where it was in terms of revenues from gambling,” said Warwick Bartlett.
What’s this mean for you and I? Well, I suspect we’ll see plenty more ads promoting cheap airfare, hotel packages, etc. for Vegas along with our political campaign ads.
The bottom line on gambling around the world from GBGC is this:
Of course, the global economic situation will be a major influence on gambling markets. If China’s economy does have a “crash landing” it is difficult to see Macau’s gaming growth rates being maintained. A strong economic recovery in the US would help gaming revenues that have been hit hard in recent years. In Europe, the gambling industry really needs the Eurozone crisis to be resolved because the uncertainty is really hurting the gambling sector in the likes of Greece and Spain.
As if we weren’t already for this economic mess to clear itself up.
Interactive gambling accounted for 8.4% of global gambling revenues in 2011, up from 8.0% in 2010. This figure would suggest there is still scope for further growth in Interactive sector, especially if the US does adopt some kind of federal or state regulation for Internet gambling in the coming years.