Gambling has seen a number of developments in 2010 and in such a fast moving industry there are bound to be plenty more during the next twelve months. Technology is advancing at an ever-increasing rate, legislation is constantly threatening to change and companies are making and breaking deals at a break-neck speed, leaving us left to ponder what on earth 2011 could have to offer.
Land Based Gambling
First of all, land based casinos are looking to continue in their recovery and regain the profits that they were experiencing before the global recession hit. However, Nevada based casino company Caesars Entertainment warned that while visitors may begin to return to Las Vegas, the casino tables and slots would not be seeing nearly as much action as they did back in 2007. However, traders have picked out the Las Vegas Sands Casino to perform well and expect it to perform better than all of its Las Vegas casino competitors.
The bad news continues for Las Vegas as Singapore and Macau are expected by investors to, at the very least, catch up with the Nevada gambling city in terms of revenue.
US Casino Legislation
In terms of online gambling, legislation has certainly been a hot topic in 2010 and this trend looks to continue in 2011. With various bills being designed and altered by US senators in an attempt to legalise and regulate online gambling in the United States, the general consensus is that 2011 will be the year that the US finally welcomes online gambling back. Joe Brennan Jr., chairman of the online gaming legislation association, iMEGA, predicted: “It seems that a state-by-state solution is the probable way forward over the next few years.”
He added: “2011 will be the year that operators discover the names of the 50 states in America.”
European legislation also looks set to change with the European Court of Justice having rejected several applications to ban online gambling. Instead, European Union ministers have suggested that continent wide legislation may be needed in order to sort out the mess that is currently the European stance on online gambling.
Super Online Casinos
888 suggested way back at the beginning of 2010 that there may be a number of mergers between online casino operators on the horizon. This prediction has already proved to be true, with the big deal of the year taking place between PartyGaming and bwin. However, this is expected to just be the first of many mega-mergers that will sweep through the online gambling industry as many companies look to stabilise after a few tough years.
With the December acquisition of rival casino 888 by Ladbrokes and the failed merger between Sportingbet and Unibet, expect to see many more online casino operators joining forces in 2011.
Weird Bets for 2011
Like all other years, 2011 is bound to be full of plenty of weird and wonderful things that gamblers will be able to wager on and we have selected just a few to give you an idea of the wackiness that we’re talking about.
First of all is the market offered by Paddy Power on which will be the first country to have contact with ‘alternative life beings from another planet.’ The USA is unsurprisingly leading the way in this market with China, Ireland and Russia just behind. Also available to bet on is who will be this year’s X-Factor winner Matt Cardle’s next girlfriend, with Alesha Dixon, Diana Vickers and even Katie Price all making the top twelve most likely. Finally, the big betting event of the year is bound to be the royal wedding with gamblers being able to bet on everything from the colour of the Queen’s hat to William’s best man and even whether Kate will include ‘obey’ in her vows.