Online Gaming: Eyes Turning Eastwards
March 16, 2009 (InfoPowa News) — The respected land and online gambling consultancy Global Betting & Gaming Consultants has issued a new report advising that the emerging gambling markets of Eastern Europe are attracting interest from both land-based and Internet operators and, despite the economic crisis, the region holds interesting potential.
The gaming industry as a whole was still showing growth in 2008 in many of the 17 individual gambling markets covered in GBGC’s report, suggesting the Eastern European gambling markets are not yet in recession.
The report notes that there is a strong propensity to gamble amongst many populations in Eastern Europe. For example, Croatia has 562 betting shops per million people, four times greater than the U.K.!
Internet gambling is also offering increasing opportunities in Eastern Europe, claims GBGC, with the likes of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Slovenia embracing the online gambling revolution by allowing operators other than the state lottery to hold licences. Bulgaria and Croatia are scheduled to follow suit with new legislation later in 2009.
"It would seem that the current economic crisis is causing governments to take a fresh look at gambling as a means of generating tax revenues," the report opines. "Membership of the EU has benefited the economies and living standards of many Eastern European countries and operators cannot afford to ignore the opportunities that exist in the region’s respective gambling markets."
GBGC has emerged as one of the most credible specialist international gambling consultancies in the world. The company has worked with or supplied information to more than 400 clients, the majority of whom are 'blue chip' groups.