Well, we know things have been looking a little bleak across a number of industries during the current economic downturn. The automotive industry for one has been suffering (although the world´s governments seem to be giving this particular industry a shot in the arm).
And many land based casino cities and companies are feeling the pinch- Las Vegas and Atlantic City for example, and even Macau (although the Chinese enclave seems to be picking up business of late).
But what of the online casino and gambling market in general? How is it performing?
Well, if the recent sets of results posted by some of the public companies in the sector are anything to go by, things aren´t that bad. Internet sportsbooks are showing strong numbers: while profits are down, they are down by less than the general market. Paddy Power, William Hill and Ladbrokes are all expecting strong results in 2010.
Playtech is also upbeat about their prospects, particularly once the William Hill integration is fully completed. The software company reckons it’s going to weather this economic crisis well.
Industry watchers point out that the market suffered a big correction when the US government decided to make online gambling transactions illegal for the financial institutions- so in other words they took the pain early. When the recession hit, most companies had already restructured their businesses out of the US and into newer, high growth markets.
Coupled with that is a general uptake in demand for games and entertainment online. Much as the online advertising industry is growing at the expense of more traditional media such as TV and magazines, so too is online gambling growing at the expense of its landbased cousin. As more and more people get hooked up to faster and faster broadband, the demand for high quality games online increases, and as more and more people play, the casinos can afford to run mind boggling jackpots across their progressive slot networks.
And let´s not forget the smoking ban in bingo clubs! This has fueled a big increase in the popularity of online bingo.
All in all, the sector seems to have weathered the storm and the future looks bright.