G2E 2012: Impressive growth forecast for online gambling

A majority of industry analysts anticipate significant near-term growth for online gambling, both in the United States and worldwide, according to the results of the 10th G2E Future Watch survey released Tuesday at Global Gaming Expo at the Sands Expo and Convention Center.

The survey found 61 percent envision the U.S. market growing to $10 billion or more over the next several years, with or without federal legislation passed to legalize and regulate online poker. Only 6 percent of those surveyed believe Congress is likely to legalize online poker within the next year.

"Online gambling continues to be the most talked about issue in our industry," said Frank Fahrenkopf, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, in a statement.

Despite only 6 percent expecting U.S. legalization within a year, a significantly larger portion of those surveyed expect it to happen within the next five years. Nearly 39 percent expect legislation in the next one to two years, while another 28 percent forecast the U.S. legalizing online poker within a three-to-five year window.

The AGA's Future Watch survey, which took place Monday, polled 18 gaming industry executives.


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