Was it Gambling’s “Year of the Net”
By Earl
Rod Smith of the Las Vegas Gaming Wire reports that, according to Vegas operators, “The biggest threat to gaming industry operations in 2002 came from the Internet reservation wholesalers,” who booked 30% of the rooms used by Vegas visitors. Familiarity with how to use the Internet has lured many hotel casino customers away onto online discount reservation sites.

But as is well known to online gamblers, some of the biggest Vegas casino operators now offer online sites as well. For example, Park Place and Mandalay jointly own and operate LasVegas.com. And this site is “fighting back,” and against itself, as it were. LasVegas.com has reached agreements with seven hotels to offer, online, discounted stays in Vegas.

It is not expected however that online casino gambling is cannibalizing terrestrial casino gambling revenue. In fact, some experts maintain that online gaming is actually a boon to terrestrial casino groups as new gamblers learn to play online from the safety of their homes. By learning to gamble from their PC’s at relatively low online stakes, neophyte gamblers graduate to experienced players who then enjoy a terrestrial casino experience with confidence. The result - more interest in terrestrial play.

Was 2002 a growth year for the online casino industry –yes. Was 2002 a growth year for the terrestrial casino industry –yes. What we have witnessed in 2002 was the beginning of the evolution of gaming and the integration between the virtual and the reality.

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