Gambling is a hugely popular past time in New Zealand. It’s estimated that over $2 billion each year is spent on the activity and over 40% of adults bet on a semi-regular basis. Interestingly gambling was 안전놀이터 not really commercialised in New Zealand until the 1990s, but since then the industry has grown to such an extent that it’s had to be heavily regulated, with caps being put on the number of casinos and betting venues allowed in the country.
Online gambling has not escaped the regulatory powers that be in New Zealand, in fact, the government department of Internal Affairs brought out the Gambling Act of 2003 to deal with the growth in remote interactive gambling in the country. The law is pretty straight forward, it states that any remote interactive gambling in New Zealand (internet, TV, telephone etc) must be operated by the TAB (Totalizator Agency Board) or the new Zealand Lotteries Commission. These are both government-run operations that are used for community fund-raising and are not for profit.
So players in New Zealand can gamble online through both these sources, but also the law states that it is not illegal for Kiwis to gamble at online casinos on foreign (overseas-based) sites. The reason for this is that New Zealand law cannot be enforced overseas and the government thought it would be impossible to enforce. However, it is illegal for overseas companies to advertise their product online and overseas sites can never run their operations from New Zealand. In March 2011, one of the major online casinos announced that it had dealt its one billionth blackjack hand. And when you think of how many web casinos exist, it gives you some idea of just how popular visiting casinos online is. When the first online casino went live in 1996, nobody could have predicted the twists, turns, and huge growth the industry would experience, particularly when you add in smart mobile devices, which are finding their way into more hands every day.
Statistics by Nielsen Media Research in 2010 showed that in the uk alone, online gambling traffic was up by 40% over 2009. It also found that 46% of online players were women and about 50% were middle aged men with above average salaries. And in the us, the National Annenberg Survey of the Young found that some 16% of college-aged men visited online casinos at least once a month, up dramatically over 2008 figures.
Many online gambling venues credit the increase in popularity to the development of industry standards by groups like eCOGRA (eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance), better responsiveness to customer service, and a commitment to providing players with safer, higher quality sites. Newer payment methods are coming online, and more currency and language options are also assisting in the worldwide growth of gambling websites.
One of the biggest world regions for expansion of online gambling is Latin America. These 33 countries, with a population of around 570 million, are ripe for investment by web gambling firms. In fact, investors in areas like financial service providers and online server operators are keenly eying Latin America as a front for expansion.
A chief reason for the appeal of expanding online gaming into Latin America is the existing telecommunications infrastructure, including widespread availability of broadband and mobile internet. In 2009, internet access reached nearly 200 million Latin Americans, and it was growing at a clip of 30% per year.
Mobile online gambling appears to have the greatest potential for growth in Latin America, because device penetration in the region was at 80% in 2009, which was above the world average, with mobile networks reaching nearly 500 million people. Couple this with the rapidly evolving graphics and game features specifically for mobile devices, and it is clear why any casino online looking to expand would do well to consider this region.
But mobile device gambling isn’t just a Latin American phenomenon. Mobile devices are rapidly growing in popularity everywhere, and the web casinos that develop applications for it are the ones who will be first in line to take advantage of this market.
Online gambling has come quite a long way since 1996. More regulations are in place to help reassure consumers, and more payment and currency options are available. The graphics and software platforms are better than ever, casinos are taking a new look at customer service, and mobile handheld devices like Android phones and iphones are opening up a new sector in online gambling. In short, it is a very exciting time for the online gambling industry. For one thing, though touch screen Pcs have been around in various guises for several years now, Apple has turned the technology into something that people can’t seem to get enough of. That’s because they know a lot about user interfaces and have made the ipad interface a joy to use compared to Windows tablets that used hunt and peck type styluses.
Yes, iPads are expensive, but that hasn’t stopped them from selling rapidly. It only took 28 days for Apple to sell a million of them. That’s twice as fast as the first iphone sold. The iphone 4. 0 operating system is set for November 2010 release for the ipad, and when that happens, the ipad will probably become more popular as a replacement for a netbook, TV, or game console for a lot of people.
While there is little doubt that the iPad’s top-of-the-line graphics and great user interface are perfect for gaming, there is the question of whether there will be sites and services available to allow customers to use their ipad to interact with online casinos.
Apple itself is going to stay away from anything but simulated gambling apps as long as the us internet gambling ban is officially in place. While there are plenty of workarounds for us gamers to play internet casino games, any apps for the ipad for that purpose are going to come from the casinos themselves rather than Apple, and that is a safe bet for the foreseeable future.