Spectrum Gaming Group, an independent casino industry research and regulatory advisory group, has issued a list of the 21 most important trends facing the global casino industry in 2011.

Unsurprisingly, a number of these trends deal directly with the Internet gambling issue. Some are obvious — for example, we already know that “mobile Internet and social networking trends will present new opportunities for casinos” and that “Internet gambling will continue to grow in the US as it becomes more accepted globally”.

But other points are more interesting, like the prediction that Internet casino operators based in Europe will “aggressively pursue” U.S. tribal partners to prepare for new American online gambling laws.

“In the absence of Federal legislation, state and tribal governments will begin to push the envelope harder and litigation may resolve the legality issue before legislation does,” the report also predicts.

The report also speculates that broadband providers in the U.S. could “become advocates for Internet Gaming legalization efforts … due to increased usage of their products as result of I-Gaming.” That’s something we haven’t seen yet.

Other non-Internet points of concern included the movement to overturn the United States’ sports betting ban, more transparency for tribal casino operators, the growing competition between lotteries and commercial operators in the U.S., the growth of baccarat, and a new surge of competition between Singapore and Macau for higher-end gamblers.

The report also predicted a new wave of mergers and acquisitions in the industry as “major investment banks are demonstrating a renewing, greater interest in gaming”.

Founded in 1993 and describing itself as “the world’s foremost gaming research and professional services firm”, Spectrum enjoys high media exposure with its various reports focusing on the research and regulatory aspects of the gaming industry.

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