Rise of Casual Online Gamblers in 2011 Reported by MECN

Posted By: Date: 01/21/2011 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

For the last 15 years or so, online gambling sites seem to have put an annual focus on specific player types. An online casino, for example, may have targeted high rollers, or an online poker room may have geared its promotions towards grabbing more experienced poker players. Online gambling experts believe that 2011 will be the year of the casual gambler.

According to industry analysts, the online gambling community as a whole has reached its zenith. Technological structure has come full circle, so much so that there isn’t much room left for advancement. Security measures are as strict as ever. Software platforms are operating at intense speed. The graphic capabilities are superb. There’s not much left to do but engineer gambling sites and promotions that cater to the industry’s largest market – the casual online gambler.

According to a report from consulting firm MECN, this being the second installation of its “Casual Gaming and Gambling on the Internet” editorial, 85% of the online gambling industry – including online casinos, online poker sites, online bingo halls and even online sports betting operators – intend to extend their promotional campaigns throughout social networks like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace over the next 24-36 months.

If you take a look at the statistics of Facebook’s popular application, Zynga Poker, the numbers are phenomenal. The online poker app took the internet gaming world by storm, turning casual gamers into devoted poker players practically overnight. Zynga Poker currently maintains a player base of more than 36 million users. At any given time, there are anywhere from 200,000 to 400,000 active members on the virtual felt.

For real money internet gambling sites, tapping into a community of this magnitude could do wonders for their quarterly results. Gigi Levy, CEO of 888, called it a “blind spot”.

When you look at the online gambling industry as a whole, online numbers/lottery games, such as online bingo, play a menial role. But when you look at land-based numbers/lottery games, they generate about USD $100 billion. There is definitely a market there just waiting to be uncorked.

Although this style of gambling is largely dominated by in-store state lottery sales, internet gambling operators will be looking to increase technological awareness and availability of these sectors in the near future. The study by MECN estimates the online numbers/lottery games industry to expand from $1.9 billion in 2010 to an estimated $5.5 billion by 2015.

Click here to read the full “Casual Gaming and Gambling on the Internet” report from MECN.

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