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PwC: Global gaming revenues set to reach US$182.8 billion by 2015

06/12/2011 14:18
• The gaming industry positions itself for the future amidst global economic uncertainty.
• The industry that has long been accustomed to stable growth, continued revitalisation and expansion, sets its sights on a future that must command consumer trial and loyalty.

The release of PwC’s new annual report “Global Gaming Outlook: The casino and online gaming market to 2015" explores the changes and challenges in mature markets, the upcoming opportunities in new and developing jurisdictions, as well as the legislation, regulation, and potential impacts brewing in the online gaming arena.

Casino gaming through to 2015

According to our projections the global casino gaming revenue across the United States, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Asia Pacific, Latin America and Canada will grow at 9.2 per cent compound annual rate during the next five years, rising from US$117.6 billion in 2010 to
US$182.8 billion in 2015.

Marcel Fenez, Global Entertainment & Media Leader, PwC, said:

“We talk about the global economy, but this has never been more evident than in casino gaming. The turbulent global financial markets have curtailed consumer spending in some of the major markets for casino gaming. But we've seen huge growth in Asia as the affluent middle classes seek new forms of entertainment, and gaming's intense balance of risk and reward has a special appeal for many people. "

Asia Pacific – the growth engine

As we forecast, Asia Pacific will see aggressive growth during our forecast period with Macau being the jewel in the gaming crown. This growth will be driven by three main factors: continuing economic growth which will increase disposable income and the emergence of a prosperous middle-class; a deep attachment to casino gaming and other forms of gambling in many of the societies in the region; and the growing opportunities for consumers to take part in casino gaming as new centres are established and new facilities open up in existing markets.

Singapore’s dramatic emergence as a casino gaming centre is a prime example of new territories entering the market. Revenues have surged from zero in 2009, to US$4.4 billion in 2011 and a predicted US$7.2 billion by 2015. The improvement in transport links to key casino gaming markets and the easing of regulations is also contributing to the increase in revenues. The Philippines already has a stable casino gaming market and new casinos in that country will propel growth. If regulatory approval is given in Japan, it’s likely that integrated casino resorts will be built in three locations.

As the Asia Pacific region continues to flourish and offer a more local gaming experience for Asian gamers, some high roller customers that would otherwise travel to the US will be diverted by these overseas attractions. The impact will be on US gaming centres, like Nevada, which have a higher reliance on foreign tourists to drive revenues.

Online gaming

Online gaming is happening across the world, made up of fragmented pockets of legal and illegal spending, where the size of the market is difficult to measure accurately. The regulatory complexities, which are often unclear and open to different interpretations, still vary widely between countries and even between various forms of online and mobile gaming.

Most of the legal online gaming in the world occurs in EMEA, which includes the world’s largest legal online gaming market, the UK, which legalized it in 2005. A growing number of countries within the European Union (EU) are setting up regulatory regimes for online gaming, particularly poker and betting on horse racing and/or other sports. But they are finding that this is more complex and taking longer than they expected as any national regimes in the EU need to be consistent with EU law. The UK too is looking at changing regulation to capture tax revenues which are currently being lost to offshore jurisdictions such as Gibraltar and Malta.

The future of online

We believe that there are four key change drivers which will shape the industry over the coming years:

• Harnessing cross-border liquidity:
• Setting realistic taxation levels
• Varying approaches to different online gaming disciplines
• Combining online gaming and social networking

2015 and beyond

By 2015 the financial balance of power in the global casino gaming industry will have undergone a fundamental shift to the east with Asia Pacific having overtaken the US in 2013 as the biggest regional market in terms of revenues. This change will be accompanied by a dramatic evolution in several aspects of the industry as online gaming becomes an increasingly regulated mainstream activity with revenues and usage taking off in many markets.

With online gaming being complementary to bricks and mortar revenues, there will be more than enough room in the market for both online and physical gaming services, provided each offers a compelling experience for the consumer. The building of casinos in new and emerging jurisdictions, however, will challenge established casinos in mature markets such as Atlantic City, as customers seek gaming opportunities closer to home.