MARCH MADNESS BUILDS INTERNET GAMBLING TRAFFIC
14 percent gains in online gambling activity
Online gambling activity soared 14 percent during March, according to statistics from comScore which attributed the increase in gambling site visits to the NCAA basketball tournament known as "March Madness."
The boost came despite the political turmoil in the United States over online gambling, illustrating the continuing demand for the pastime in America.
The UK Internet gambling group Sportingbet increased its traffic by 35 percent to 975 000 visitors, while Upickem.net jumped 174 percent to 396 000 visitors and SportsBetting.com rose 114 percent to 145 000 visitors.
"American sports featured prominently in the top-gaining categories and properties in March," said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix.
"The NCAA tournament drove substantial traffic to online gambling sites during the month, while the start of spring training made MLB.com one of the top gaining properties. Both events also contributed to ESPN.com's surge in the top properties rankings."
Away from online gambling per se, radio sites continued an upward swing that saw a 27 percent surge in visits in March to 61.8 million visitors, making it the top-gaining category for the month. AOL Music led the way with 21.9 million visitors (up five percent), followed by Yahoo Music with nearly 20.8 million visitors (up four percent) and Clear Channel Online with 11 million visitors (up two percent).