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The Balkan States to See an Increase in Online Casino Gambling


by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
February 4, 2009

              It would seem that the Balkan states, Eastern Europe, are set to join the likes of the UK and southern Europe in offering the cyber masses online casino gaming. Internet casino gambling has become a hot topic internationally, especially in the Balkan states where the economy is failing.

               The Balkan states have drawn a considerable interest from online casino operators who might see a Euro 4.5 billion gambling market and 130 million sports bettors in its future demographic, according to research from the MECN consulting firm.

                In a study dubbed “The Balkan Gambling Markets,” analysts found the total gambling market in the Balkan states, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania and Bulgaira, produced a total gross revenue equaled out to nearly Euro 4.5 billion after prizes were handed out – with an online gambling market worth about Euro 520 million that is currently generated in licensed offshore markets.

               When determining the numbers, the MECN group based its research on the size of the gambling market that currently goes to foreign online casinos. 1 to 3 percent of the online casino market exists in Croatia, Serbia and Romania where more competition is found. Monopolistic areas such as Greece and Turkey can generate as much as 20 to 30 million Euro in annual gambling revenue.

 

               The online casino market is slowly integrating into these states, such as Sportingbet, which attributes 5 percent of its annual revenue to Bulgarian gamers. Bwin and Bet-at-home have each joined the Balkan market. Additionally, a survey conducted by the MECN research group showed that 20 to 30 percent of online casino operators intend to expand their markets into the Balkan states.

 

               A copy of the report on MECN’s website reads, “The report includes:

 

  • Analysis of all sectors - The report analyses all key sectors of the gambling markets: lottery, casino, betting, gambling machines, and interactive gambling (Internet/mobile).
  • Current market figures - Comprehensive market data, such as market size and development of sales/turnover as well as gross revenues, including 2007 and in some cases also 2008 figures.
  • Legal and tax information - Detailed explanation of the current legislation and the taxes imposed.
  • Insights from local expert - The analyses of Balkan gambling markets need local expertise. Therefore, we gathered some of the most renowned local market insiders and authors. “

           The consulting firm, which specializes in online gambling, has also reported studies of the Italian, Spanish, Belgian/Dutch and German gambling markets, as well as the future of online casino gambling. It provides a monthly gambling newsletter to those interested in the success of the industry.

              In the study in the future of online casino gambling, the group focuses on the impact of current development of the industry, the most affected sectors, the companies that are most and least affected by recent gaming developments, the biggest threats to the online casino gambling industry and the immediate and medium-term effects of the current threats.

              MECN is comprised of a network of research experts, founded by Ex-BCG consultants. Of its 40 consultants, none are resitricted geographically, and will “source the team wherever the experts might be.”