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Online Gambling 3: Growth Shift From US To Europe
Meanwhile a warning from UK betting firm William Hill's chief executive David Harding that "internet gambling had become more competitive among European-based operators since last September's anti-online legislation in the US has been echoed by Warwick Bartlett's company Global Betting & Gaming Consultants," reported racingpost.co.uk. Figures since October 2006 show the industry "has been resilient despite the legislation", but GBGC partner Simon Holliday forecast "operations are clearly set to get more difficult before they get better in some parts of Europe". The GBGC survey noted: "The online gambling industry has now become polarised, with the (stock market) listed companies having retreated to non-US markets & non-listed companies still servicing the US market." GBGC's analysis revealed that in 2006 the total value of the industry grew to a fraction under US$15.2 billion (as opposed to the US$15.7bn forecast before the US legislation); GBGC has revised its 2007 forecast for the total value of the market to US$14.2bn (compared with a pre-legislation forecast of US$18.6bn). This year, the value of the European online gambling market "is now expected to be nearly 40% greater than that of North America, having been just 60% of that value last year & 50% in 2005". Holliday summed up: "I firmly believe the online gambling industry will continue to flourish & that although the US legislation & on-going arrests will continue to place pressure on the market, as with alcohol in the past, prohibition will not work."