Archive for July, 2010

In Light of a Bill to Regulate Online Gambling, Another Internet Bookie Goes Down

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

In light of the positive developments regarding the Internet Gaming Regulation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (HR 2267, otherwise known simply as IGREA), which after successfully passing through the U.S. House of Representatives is to go under the knife in the Senate (I have an in-dept article about this in the works), it’s cases like the one below that reiterate why online gambling needs to be regulated in the United States.

Meet James L. Dicapo – a fifty-seven year old “businessman” from the Heart of America’s West, err, Kansas. Dicapo, whom I’m assuming is Italian, recently pleaded guilty to operating an online gambling business. Bringing in more than $3.6 million spanning approximately three years (2006-2009), this was no skimpy business either. Basically, it was your standard bookmaker getup offering phone lines for, well, betting one’s lines on a range of sports events.

These days, phone-in bookies like this are also often inclined to go the way of the Web, if you will. Sports betting online is big business, and the internet is simply helping it become bigger. But rather broadcast their services for all to see, this operation consisted of handing out toll-free digits and a website to sign up. Dicapo and three other men (also charged in the investigation) would simply handle the money, and from what I can understand, actually do the rounds and deal with customers face to face.

Dicapo has attested that the customers for whom he specifically dealt with wagered approximately $1.2 million between 2006-2009. All of this money would then be routed to an offshore business in Costa Rica (where many a sports betting business is set up, I might add). The actual wagers would go through here, and all winning bets would be paid out accordingly.

On that note, while everything Dicapo was doing was deemed illegal, this does not necessarily mean there was shady business taking place internally. In other words, Dicapo and his operation was, for all intensive purposes, a legitimate sports betting service with a base of satisfied customers. I suppose you could say satisfied “clients”, if DiCapo was dealing with a small handful of whales. That hasn’t yet been determined yet, but I’m sure it will be brought to light if that’s indeed what happened.

In relation to what’s going on with the aforementioned IGREA, you might wonder if cases like this will continue happening in the U.S. Well, to make a long story short, the answer is yes. One small provision in the IGREA is that sports betting will not be included with online poker, bingo and online casino games in having the possibility to be regulated on a State level. Online sports betting simply is illegal and will remain illegal even if the IGREA is passed into law.

But that won’t stop operations like Dicapo’s from sprouting up, many of which may not even be caught. The fact of the matter – and this is one reason why sports betting was left out of the bill – is that most sports fans love to wager. And for the millions of these folks who do not have the luxury of making trips to Vegas every time they want to make a wager, the telephone and online bookies serve as a very convenient option for placing the bets on one’s behalf

Go Casino and Online Vegas Publishing CFG Monthly Payout Reports by Jacobson Gaming

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

CFG-SealThere’s no doubt you’ve heard of Go Casino and Online Vegas Casino, especially if you’ve surfed amongst the pages here at OCS. Rated in the Top 10 of all online casinos approved and reviewed at OCS, Online Vegas and Go Casino have endured the test of time and earned a fantastic track record with players from all around the world, including the USA. Owned and managed by the same company, Curacao-based Favian International N.V., Go Casino and Online Vegas are an exemplary definition of self-imposed transparency.

What I mean by this, is that unlike other online casinos which either lack in transparency completely (i.e., many of the gaming establishments based in Costa Rica) or are mandated to maintain a high standard of transparency (i.e., eCOGRA approved online casinos), Go Casino and Online Vegas hold themselves up to their own high standard of transparency.

So, what exactly do I mean when I say “transparent”? Well, first and foremost, a transparent online casino is one which does not just tell it’s customers how safe and fair they are, but provides documents prepared by recognized and accredited third parties attesting the same. The three most important documents you, the player, should always look for is a validation seal provided by the authority in charge of regulating the online casino, a software fairness seal attesting to the inherent fairness and proper functioning of the Random Number Generator (RNG) programmed into the software, and lastly, monthly payout percentage reports.

It’s important to have all three of these documents, or at least the first and the third, because a software validation seal alone does not guarantee the online casino isn’t tweaking the source code from month to month, especially when the casino is not being strictly regulated or not regulated at all (as is the case in Costa Rica). The payout percentage report essentially tells all.

That said, after the “glowing” introduction for Go Casino and Online Vegas, it should go without saying that these two online casinos have all three of these documents to show for. And the great thing about it all, is that they aren’t even required to do so. Is that a gesture of good faith, or what? While Go Casino and Online Vegas are certainly regulated on an ongoing basis (through the Curacao eGaming Licensing Authority; Netherlands, Antilles), until recently, they were not even required to link to a regulatory validation seal. Now, you can see that seal on the homepage of both casinos (as can you at all online casinos licensed in Curacao).

What’s even better, is that both Go Casino and Online Vegas are now publishing monthly payout percentage reports prepared by the esteemed independent software testing house, Certified Fair Gambling (Jacobson Gaming), which is overseen by mathematics and analysis expert, Dr. Eliot Jacobson (jacobsongaming.com), and whose associates include the likes of actuary, Michael Shackelford (The Wizard of Odds). They also hold credentials attesting to the inherent fairness of their licensed software platform: Vegas Technology.

So, just what do the numbers say, pray tell? See them for yourself! Here is the pdf document for the Go Casino June 2010 Payout Report and the Online Vegas June 2010 Payout Report. In the future, just click the CGF logo on the homepage of both casinos to see the most current payout reports.

This is pretty huge folks, especially for Vegas Technology Software. I can probably count the number of U.S. focused online casinos actually publishing monthly payout reports on one hand – and Go Casino and Online Vegas are two of them.

Now, this isn’t to say that other online casinos are not offering a fair hand or even receiving monthly audits. It’s simply that they are not taking the extra step to publicly share this information with their players and prospective players, at that. This is what online casino operator transparency is all about – and it’s something that we here at OCS will continue to urge other online casinos to step up. Currently, we are directing our efforts to encourage a number of highly rated RTG, Rival and Top Game-powered online casinos to publish monthly payouts.

In the meantime, OCS highly encourages prospective players to visit Go Casino and Online Vegas to claim thousands in free welcome bonus money, free tournament entries, staking a claim at over $410,000 in guaranteed tournament winnings for the month, and yes, getting a safe and fair hand. Read the OCS Go Casino Review and Online Vegas Review for more information.

Popular eWallet, PayPal, Back to Processing Payments at European Facing Online Casinos

Monday, July 26th, 2010

PayPalVerifiedWith a name like PayPal, it’s practically a given the online payment processor would be a great service to the online gambling community. And they certainly were at a given point in time – to be more precise, before the U.S. government started making threats and Google had ceased allowing online casinos to bid on AdWords.

Easy to use, quick, free, safe and secure, PayPal was, quite really, the ideal solution for getting funds transferred to and from an online casino. Furthermore, PayPal is accepted just about everywhere online. Of course there were other eWallets to partially fill the stead of PayPal, such as Neteller, Click2Pay, EcoCard, yet these two were forced to back out of doing business with U.S. customers.

However, whereas the aforementioned eWallets did not cease doing business with online casinos altogether – opting to focus on the European market and legally regulated online gambling jurisdictions – PayPal simply said no to online gambling period.

And that’s why I am happy to report great news. Guess what? PayPal is back!!!! Obviously, PayPal is not going to be doing business with U.S. online gamblers any time soon, but just like it’s competitor eWallets, PayPal is opening their virtual doors to the European online gambling industry.

Specifically, PayPal is now being accepted at the highly reputable Ladbrokes online casino. And rumor has it that Gibraltar regulated, 32Red Casino will soon be offering PayPal to their real money players. So get ready all you fans of 32Red – no more will you have to pay extra fees to guarantee your withdrawals. PayPal has your back once again!

What Does a U.S. Online Gambling Ban Mean to Me and the Industry at Large?

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Alright, it’s time to vent.

What is the UIGEA to me? Thanks for asking. The UIGEA, to me, is just another prime example of what happens when religion and politics mix.

Wait, but I thought there was supposed to be a separation of church and state in America.

Listen folks, if Bill Frist (the politician responsible for getting the UIGEA passed) was ever elected President, I think I will make good on my word to become an expatriate and move to Canada or Europe or the Caribbean – heck, I’ll even give Japan a go.

All these unsubstantiated worries about increased underage and problem gambling aside, online gambling regulation allows for “unparalleled transparency”. And the U.S. government, cough, cough, the UIGEA, actually makes it easier for the black market to thrive by banning online gambling. The same thing happened with prohibition in the twenties.

What about other taboo topics like pornography? It’s legal, is it not? I mean, come on, you’re more likely to get a pornographic spam email than a free bonus offer from an online casino.

It goes to show that money is the real reason why the right wants to ban online gambling. Obviously, it would be way too immoral for the right to profit off pornography, although I’m sure most of them partake. But considering the land-based interests and all the kick-backs – yes, Frist received campaign contributions from Harrah’s – it’s clear as day why the UIGEA was passed under the Bush administration.

Oh, and while Harrah’s was adamantly against online gambling at one point (when Frist pushed to pass the UIGEA), now they are all for it. Looks like they figured there is no stopping online gambling in America. If you can’t beat em’ join ’em, right?

The UIGEA will get overturned…eventually. Let’s just hope the Dem’s have the balls to do it…or rather, that they get desperate enough to get this economy going again.

Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act Under the Microscope

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

microscopeAs the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267, aka, IGREA) encounters testimony from a wide range of interests during a House markup hearing, it has become very clear that getting it passed is going to be no easy task. Even with opposition against the infamous bill that bans certain forms of online gambling (UIGEA), the bill that would effectively give State’s the right to regulate all forms of internet wagering, i.e., poker rooms, online casinos, bingo sites, sportsbooks etc., is still not entirely pleasing to all advocates of legalizing online gambling.

Land based casino owners and tribal gaming interests were especially critical of the IGREA bill, stating that it is essentially a “weak” bill. Director of Strategic  Planning at Commerce Casino, Tom Malkasian, said that while he is certainly in favor of legalizing online casino gambling, he has no option but to stand opposed to the IGREA due to a discrepancy in figures, as well as violations in tribal lands’ rights. Malkasian is urging lawmakers to revise the bill so that it will include opt-ins for tribal and state governments to engage public debates on regulatory matters.

There is also some contention that the IGREA is not accurately reflecting the potential tax revenue that will benefit State governments. The bill projects $42 billion in online gambling revenue; However, this is assuming that all of the internet betting sites would be American-based. And the IGREA does not require online casinos to be hosted in the States. Offshore operators will essentially be permitted to do business in America with a legitimate license, yet, all of the revenue will not necessarily stay in America.

In terms of taxes, there’s no discrepancy there. Yet, Malkasian does bring up a good point considering that many jobs could be created by requiring operators to set up shop in the U.S.

Those in favor of the bill included CEO of Discovery Federal Credit Union, Edwin Williams, who testified that the IGREA would help credit unions with compliance costs and instill confidence in processing the many different types of online gambling transactions – some which are legal and some which are not. The Mohegan Tribe in Connecticut, which runs the famous Mohegan Sun Casino, also came out in support of the bill, citing they are pleased the federal government has been working with tribal coalitions on the bill. However, Chairwoman of the tribe, Lynn Malerba, did express concern the bill could conflict with provisions in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, and that a specific provision stating tribal governments would be permitted to operate online casinos under the bill should be included.

With all this on the table, the bill’s most outspoken supporters, Congressmen Barney Frank and Ron Paul, will be ushering the bill further along the laborious path of getting it passed into law.

Documenting Your Correspondence and Play While Inside the Online Casino is Always Better Safe Than Sorry

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

If only online gambling existed when this movie was made...

If only online gambling existed when this movie was made...

I recently came upon a forum post here at Online Casino Suite, in which our very own, Suitee, made a comment regarding how important it is to document one’s entire betting experience at any online casino. Whether such documentation includes keeping copies of all emails and live chat transcripts and or video taping one’s actual gaming session, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Not that every online casino out there is ready and willing to cheat you at any given moment, it’s simply that – just like in real life – shit happens.

Needless to say, it’s always advised to get things in writing when dealing with customer service at an online casino. Me personally, I wouldn’t even bother making the toll-free telephone call unless it’s about something menial, like what deposit methods are accepted or whether or not there are going to be any free roll slots tournaments in the coming week. Heck, you could even call just to see if someone answers – preferably a person who has a grasp of the English language. When it comes down to money matters, live chat is the best way to go if you want a fast answer, while email is always a surefire way to keep a detailed record of all your correspondences. Just be sure if you are using live chat to correspond with an online casino that you have a chat software module that enables you to record chat sessions downloaded onto your computer.

As for actually using a video camera to record betting sessions while inside the online casino, admittedly, this is something that takes a little more time, and is something which most players find to be a burden. If you don’t have a video camera, you might just want to look into some video recording software programs out there, which you can install directly onto your computer. Either way, you should record all your playing sessions. It’s really easier than you might think. Plus, if you’re ever one of the unlucky one’s to experience a software malfunction on a multi-thousand dollar win, you wouldn’t even think twice about hitting the record button.

Let me first say that software malfunctions are rare. Getting timed out while in the middle of a bet does happen more often (primarily due to one’s internet connection speed and ISP). However, the best online casinos use software that records the finished hand result even if it can’t be seen on the user’s end. Simply log back into the software platform, and the finished hand result (as well as any wager outcomes) will be updated and available for your perusal.

Even if a slot machine freezes immediately after the final spinning reel outcome and does not award the correct winning amount, online casino staff on the backend will be able to see the malfunction and manually adjust any wager discrepancies at a later time. Again, this does happen, albeit a rarity.

Of course, it helps if you have documented proof of such a malfunction – especially when we are talking about thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. For smaller wins, most online casino managers will step up to the plate and make any necessary changes to one’s balance (for the better) to reflect the payout that would have gone through had not the reels frozen up.

However, when dealing with a smaller online casino – perhaps under-regulated in an offshore jurisdiction like Costa Rica – there is a greater chance the online casino will ignore the malfunction altogether, ignore the players request for a balance correction, and in some cases, ban the player from logging back into his or her account.

This, my friends, is where the power of video documentation comes into play. Let’s say you had videotaped your gaming session and it had captured the actual moment in which the slot reels froze, you would then have substantial evidence that would be hard to dispute. Of course, this wouldn’t make a difference with the roguest of the rogue online casinos. But then again, you are an avid reader of OCS, so you wouldn’t even be playing at a rogue online casino to begin with, now would you? 🙂

How would the online casino know your evidence is something that was not doctored in PhotoShop or another graphics editing program of the like? Well, let’s just say that they would. Still frame captures have been used as evidence in the past for some highly noteworthy dispute mediations, and guess what? On more than one occasion, such still frames were found to be fraudulently doctored at the hands of skilled, albeit immoral gamblers looking for big payout.

On the contrary, timecoded videotape is rock-hard evidence. All it takes is setting up a small camera with decent resolution on a tripod just a few feet away from your computer screen. Use the zoom to frame in close on the screen and hit the record button whenever you start a new gambling session. While you will be changing out multiple tapes in rotation, all you really need is just one. At the end of 60 minutes (most mini DV tapes are 60 minutes in length, although I’ve seen 90 minute tapes), simply rewind the tape and begin recording over again.

Of course, if there was an online casino software malfunction that happened along the way, set that tape to the side to use for documented evidence. On that note, you might want to change out tapes with ten minutes padding at the end, just to prevent the tape ending midway in a wager. Also, be sure to label saved tapes and slide the “record over” tab in the direction that prevents the tape to be recorded over in the future. You wouldn’t want to inadvertently erase over your evidence.

Now, in terms of transferring said footage to your computer for use as an MPG4 or .mov attachment, all you need is to open Windows Movie Maker (for PC’s) or iMovie (for Mac’s) both of which are free programs on your respective computer platform. Very self explanatory, these programs will allow you to peruse through your footage and capture the exact section of videotape (by means of firewire…not a USB), which you would like to keep. The footage will then be saved in a format that can be shared via email, and that’s it!

While the primary hope is that you personally will never need to use such footage to dispute a win, I can’t stress enough how much having that record button on will ease your mind. It’s not going to hurt anything – and once you have a software program installed on your computer or the camera set up and ready to go, there’s nothing to it.

Making Deposits and Getting Paid With the Help of eCommerce Solutions, DoughFlow

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

DoughFlowFor American’s who like to gamble at online casinos, the first task is to find a place that guarantees a fair and secure bet. In other words, the top priority is to ensure you won’t be getting ripped off by the online casino operator or some cyberspace pirate. Without going into detail about how you actually do that (check out our Best USA Casinos Page for our recommended picks), I suppose the next most important thing in an online casino are the speed and reliability of deposits and payouts.

An unfortunate reality of the passing of the UIGEA was that all of the best third-party eWallets, like Neteller and Click2Pay, stopped processing financial transactions between U.S. citizens and online casinos. And with the recent implementation of the UIGEA into enforceable law, many credit card transactions (MasterCard and Visa) are now being filtered out. Note I said “many” and not “all”. In other words, some U.S. players may still find their credit and debit cards to work beautifully at online casinos.

Of those that do, there’s a good chance the eCommerce software product, DoughFlow, is being used. Having recently showcased at the iGaming Super Show in Prague, DoughFlow is certainly on the minds of many an online casino operator looking to do business with U.S. customers.

Based in Costa Rica, DoughFlow is a licensed software product that is integrated within an online casino’s own computing environment. Allowing for custom configuration with fraud management and payment processing protocols, DoughFlow can be fine tuned to meet the individual needs of operators. For example, if an online casino does not want to accept players residing in a specific U.S. State or country for that matter, the software will filter these transactions automatically.

On the other end of the spectrum, DoughFlow provides advanced features all without the need for programming or software integration. One such advanced feature is called “intelligent transaction routing”, which ensures the highest approval rates for credit cards. Allowing for the use of multiple credit card processors, more players and more transactions can go through without needless and erroneous setbacks.

Before this starts to sound like an advertisement for DoughFlow, let me just say that it’s not. This is really for the benefit of U.S. online gamblers who want to know how it is that online casinos are able to process their deposits and withdrawals. I came across DoughFlow through the iGaming news vine and I have to say I’m very impressed with their professionalism and no-nonsense approach to getting things done.

Greater Transparency With Vegas Technology Online Casinos; New Casino and More

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Vegas Technology Casinos Now with Monthly Payout Reports

Vegas Technology Casinos Now with Monthly Payout Reports

I’ve been talking a lot about Vegas Technology powered online casinos this week – And guess what? I’m still not done talking. What can I say, I like to smoke ’em if I got ’em. And let’s face it – Vegas Technology Casinos are smokin’ hot right now. And no, it’s not just because they are one of the few software licensors whose online casino operators are still open to U.S. players.

What makes Vegas Technology Casinos popular these days is, quite frankly, a large and diverse guaranteed tournament schedule, lots of free bonus cash, and a pretty great customer service track record. Now, I’m not saying they are entirely spotless – and what software licensor is for that matter? However, considering the amount of business Vegas Tech online casinos like Go Casino, VIP Slots and Online Vegas are doing with U.S. players, their reputation is impressive.

Furthermore, many of Vegas Tech’s operators have been boosting their transparency. As mentioned in the previous blog post, online casinos licensed through Curacao eGaming are now required to display a Validation Seal on the homepage of their website. As for Online Vegas and Go Casino, they are now publishing monthly payout reports prepared by the independent software testing house, Certified Fair Gambling (CFG). How does a 96% average return on all games sound?

As for Vegas Technology’s flagship network of online casinos, English Harbour Gaming Ventures (EHGV), they too are certified fair by CFG. However, their certification only goes so far as the software platform, and does not include monthly payout reports. This is something which EHGV is going to need to do if they want to remain at the top of their game and in the running for U.S. player’s business – Players, mind you (cough, cough, pay attention) who are becoming more educated about online casino operator transparency.

For anyone not in know, Go Casino and Online Vegas are owned by the same company – Favian International. As for Golden Casino, it is thought there is some connection with Go Casino, although there is no proof other than their names being similar. Even if they are, who really cares, if you ask me. Eustacia International is the registered owner of Golden Casino with the Curacao eGaming licensing authority. They also own the OCS approved online casino, Crazy Slots.

And now there’s yet another addition to the family. Introducing Grand Vegas Casino. Not to be confused with the RTG powered Grande Vegas Casino (just one letter, I know), Grand Vegas is certainly going with a Vegas-esque theme. Decked out in red, white and blue, their website is obviously catering to U.S. players. And with good reason. Grand Vegas’ sister casinos has already proven very successful on that front. While we haven’t given an official recommendation to Grand Vegas (just yet), rest assured OCS believes in their experienced management team and will nonetheless be paying close attention to their early beginnings and ongoing track record.

Curacao eGaming Licensing Authority Issues Logo Validation Seals for Online Casinos

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

curacao_egamingFor anyone who pays attention to the credentials on online casino websites, you might have noticed the Curacao eGaming Licensing Authority logo popping up more often. That’s because Curacao is apparently getting its act together. A popular regulatory jurisdiction for U.S. facing Vegas Tecnology powered online casinos, Curacao hasn’t necessarily been at the forefront of online gambling regulation. Although they have been around for some time, they certainly were never in the same league as Gibraltar, Malta or the UK Gambling Commission.

And while they still are in the minor leagues, so to speak, it’s reasonable to say that Curacao eGaming does just as good a job as Antigua & Barbuda and Kahnawake Gaming Commission at regulating online casinos. They’ve simply been under the radar, mainly because nobody really knew anything about them. Those that did, knew simply that a licensing authority known as Cyberluck was responsible for handling operator applications.

Oh, and of course, many of us content writers and online casino reviewers would be quick to mention the Curacao Internet Gaming Association (CIGA), which is only just that – an association. No, they do not regulate online casinos, although – like in any trade organization – members of the association are obliged to meet best practice standards to remain in good standing within the association. One of these tenants is that online casinos “operate under an internet gaming license issued by the Netherlands Antilles”.

And said internet gaming license is issued in one place and one place only. Formerly known as Cyberluck, Curacao eGaming is the Master Licensing authority appointed by The Netherlands Antilles Department of Justice. In other words, if you want to start an online casino and have it regulated in sunny Curacao, you will need to go through Curacao eGaming (curacao-egaming.com).

Now that Curacao is finding itself more on the map, it’s pleasing to see they are making motions at becoming more transparent, and holding online casino operators to the same standards of transparency. This is precisely why you will see their logo showing up more often as I mentioned earlier. Curacao licensed online casinos, such as Go Casino and Crazy Slots, are now required to display the Curacao eGaming Licensing Authority logo on their homepage, which links to a certificate page citing whether the online casino’s license is valid or invalid.

A valid certificate means that the software platform being used is compliant with jurisdiction requirements, i.e., proper functioning of the RNG and fair odds. The only thing I am unclear about (and something which I intend to email Curacao eGaming about) is that there are no specifics about ongoing compliance regulation posted on the Curacao-eGaming website. The link to a valid certificate goes to a gaminglicenses.com site maintained by another Curacao-based company and CIGA member, Antillephone N.V. In other words, it is AntillePhone N.V. that provides the actual eGaming licensing supervision.

So then, the next step at becoming a transparent regulatory jurisdiction with best practice standards in place – if you ask me – is for AntillePhone to explain exactly what they are supervising and how they are going about doing it. In the meantime, I strongly believe (as do many happy players and professionals in the iGaming industry) that Curacao licensed online casinos are providing tight regulation and ensuring online casino operators are providing a safe and fair hand.

The Economist Publishes In-Depth Report on the State of Online Gambling in America

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

In the latest edition of The Economist business magazine (one of the best in publication, mind you), an in-depth report and analysis offers telling insight into the US online gambling industry, including the current state of the industry in light of the UIGEA online gambling ban going into effect just a few months ago.

globalgamblingmarketH2Citing stats from 2007, the report shows just how large the global gambling market has become – $335 billion a year. With nearly half of the American population and over two-thirds of British citizens having a go at some sort of wagering, there simply is no denying a formidable demand for recreational betting in existence today.

Even in a year where monthly casino gambling revenue has steadily declined, Las Vegas still racked in over $10 billion in gambling revenues, while the gambling utopia of Asia, Macau, brought in nearly $15 billion in 2009. Add to that hundreds of millions in lottery tickets sold every week of the year, and it is still apparent that the land-based gambling industry still holds sway.

However, in an increasingly mobile world and broadening World Wide Web, the trend is one of which that will see unprecedented growth in online gambling – even despite the UIGEA. While online gambling only accounted for 8% of global gambling revenue (approximately $26 billion) in 2009, this was a growth in revenue from all previous years. So while much of the rest of the global gambling industry endures falling revenues, online gambling is expected to continue growing by leaps and bounds.

globalmobilegamingH2The gambling consultancy firm, H2, reports the online gambling market is expected to grow 13% per year, bringing in revenue of $36 billion by 2012. H2 also values the global online poker market at just about $5 billion, with the United States bringing in almost a third of the revenue ($1.4 billion).

The fact is, America remains the largest single online gambling market in the world. Even with the UIGEA in effect, American continue gambling online. Where those online casino operators backed out of the market because of the UIGEA, new operators have filled the void. The scary part is that more under-regulated or even non-regulated online casinos are thriving as a result. There are still many safe and reliable places to wager online for U.S. residents, however, a lot more due diligence is required ahead of time.

The report in the Economist said it best: “Government prohibition of online gambling has worked about as well as prohibition of other online content, which is to say it is observed mainly in the breach….Americans are gambling roughly the same amount online as they did in 2006.”