Gambling is enjoying increasing popularity and income. Recently, “in” has also been particularly popular for placing bets on the Internet (see also http://dewapokeronline.co). The world’s leading online poker company “PartyGaming” will today go to the London Stock Exchange with 23 percent of its shares.
Economics of Gambling
Estimates of the price of these stocks fluctuate, but according to a Reuters report dated June 15, earnings of around $ 2.1 billion are expected. This amount is lower than originally thought due to concerns about the legality of online gaming in the United States. PartyGaming, founded in 1997, has up to 70,000 online customers at peak times and reported tax returns of $ 222 million in the first three months of this year. Operating profit was $ 128 million, 81 percent more than last year.
Gambling is currently experiencing a “boom” in general, and not just on the Internet. According to the June 4 Guardian, UK gaming industry sales rose to £ 78 billion ($ 141 billion) last year. Losses suffered by players also rose sharply last year to £ 78 billion ($ 141 billion), averaging around £ 400 ($ 727) per working person.
Italians are also becoming increasingly enthusiastic about gambling. The daily “La Stampa” reported on December 3, 2004, that the Italians were expected to have wagered € 23.1 billion in government-run games of chance by the end of the year – around $ 27.9 billion. These games of chance included a wide variety of lotteries, as well as football and horse betting. The amount corresponds to two percent of the gross domestic product. It has risen sharply in recent years. In 2000, bets would have been “only” 14.3 billion euros ($ 17.3 billion).
Gambling Benefits The Government
Governments are among the biggest beneficiaries of the gambling explosion. For example, in Canada, according to the January 6 Globe and Mail, government-sponsored gambling revenue in 2003 exceeded $ 11.8 billion ($ 9.5 billion). The revenue would have quadrupled in the past decade.
On June 15, London’s Telegraph reported that in the UK, lottery ticket sales were increasingly being used for “normal” government spending, rather than being “for a good cause” or cultural projects, as promised, when the lottery was set up just over 10 years ago. Last year, according to the Telegraph, a third of the government’s lottery revenue – over £ 430m ($ 782m) – was spent on ongoing health, education and environmental expenditures.
In the United States, governments in some states are increasingly dependent on gambling earnings, the New York Times reported on March 31. In Rhode Island, South Dakota, Louisiana, Oregon, and Nevada, income from a variety of forms of gaming accounted for more than 10 percent of all government revenue. Other states, such as Delaware, West Virginia, Indiana, Iowa and Mississippi, are close to the 10 percent mark.
In South Dakota, where gambling income accounts for 13.2 percent of total federal income, lawmakers would cut applications for restrictions because it is difficult to find alternative sources of income.