|Internet sports betting has overtaken Las Vegas-based sports books. A 2002 US Congressional Report said global online gambling revenues were over $4 billion, with over $2 billion bet by US residents. Bear Stearns estimated the global online gambling market would have been worth over $5 billion if credit card issuers had not blocked transactions with offshore betting and gambling sites. Nevada, where sports betting is legal, took under $2 billion in 2002, a ten-year low. |
This can be partially explained by the fact that slots are squeezing other types of gambling from Las Vegas casino floorspace. Slots account for 70% of Nevada casinos’ profits. Another reason is that, apparently, Nevada bookmakers are referring business to the offshore sports betting sites. Also, the online sports books tend to offer better odds than Las Vegas, as well as generous sign up bonuses unavailable in Nevada.
The report found that US online gamblers and heavy internet users share many of the same demographics: According to David Lee of Mandalay Bay casino, 77% of online sports bettors are male. The are also typically single, educated, 25-34 years old, and with incomes in the $40,000 - $80,000 range. Other findings of the report include players’ preference for recognized names, rather than internet-only sports books.