EC Gambling: A State Of The World Report

The press regularly reminds us that we live in a world teeming with dangerous addictions. They include: drinking, drugs, sex, and gambling. The reality is that most people enjoy these activities and incorporate them into their lives without becoming addicted. In this piece, I examine what is happening in gambling by region and type with an industry expert. Warwick Bartlett is the Chief Executive of the Global Betting and Gaming Consultancy (GBGC). GBGC is one of the largest and most credible specialists on gambling in the world. The company has worked with or supplied information from its database to over 500 clients.

We start with some historical data and discussion and how things have changed.

Gambling by Region

Elliott: It appears there is more gambling in Asia, North America and Europe than in other regions. And while gambling continues to grow rapidly in Asia and North America, it has leveled off in Europe. Among the other regions, Africa is growing most rapidly.

Table 1. Gambling by Region, Gross Gambling Yield (GGY)*

*Amount Bet Less Amount Paid Out to Players as Winnings

Gambling by Method

Elliott: After dipping slightly in 2009 as a result of the global meltdown, gambling has continued its upward climb. Internet gambling did not dip in 2009 and continues to grow at a rapid rate. The large reduction in gaming machines revenues is somewhat surprising.

Warwick: The gross gambling yield of machines did fall 15.5% overall. When looking by continents: Asia recorded the largest fall (-45%), followed by Oceania (-2%). Europe and North America recorded 4% and 9% growth respectively. South Africa recorded the largest growth of 84%, but it is the smallest market observed.

Elliott: But it does appear That Americans and Europeans prefer gaming machines while a larger portion of Asians prefer table games.

Table 2. Gambling by Method, (GGY)

Gambling by Country

Elliott: Consider next gambling by country. Overall, the US dwarfs all other countries with more than $100 billion bet per year. The closest country to the US is Japan with about $34 billion. It is not surprising that on a per capita basis, Macau is by far the largest. Singapore and Australia, also both “destination” countries for gambling but follow way behind Macau.


Elliott: Table 3 provides data on the largest casinos in the world. Looking at the gaming machines and card/table games shares, it is notable that of the US casinos on the list, 94% are machines versus only 67% in Macau. Among these casinos, Galaxy has the largest betting gross.

Table 3. – The Largest Casinos

Specific Questions

Elliott: Will opening of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge impact Macau gambling revenues in a significant manner?

Warwick: I believe it will but there are those operators in Macau who believe that the main benefit will come through increased Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events (MICE) usage. The entry point from Hong Kong is close to the Hong Kong Airport so delegates will be able to fly in and take a taxi to Macau. At the moment you have to take the fast boat but getting on and off with heavy cases is no easy task. Presently, Hong Kong is still the best place for MICE but Macau should take market share once the bridge is open. Ease of transport in my view is definitely a boost to commercial activity. We have to remember that Macau is still developing as a resort. Although its figures are impressive, it is not yet a mature leisure destination. And more attractions will create new reasons for families to go to Macau. Beijing has stated that it wants Macau to broaden its offerings; Macau now has 19 Michelin starred restaurants. London has about 32.

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Disclosure: None.

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Www 2 years ago Member's comment

It was a huge shock to me to find out that North America was not #1 in GGY, but it was in fact Asia/Middle East. I was always under the impression that North America was the number one in GGY by a land slide!

Rachel Anne 1 year ago Member's comment

Me too, I thought gambling was illegal in the Middle East.

Kurt Benson 1 year ago Member's comment

Not everywhere. Dubai is a huge center fro gambling and casinos.

William F. Lampe IV 2 years ago Member's comment

With all of the recent increases in stock prices for the "prospect" companies of Japan's new developments, the move seems to be to wait until the date of the announcement and short the stocks that don't get the bid. That nearly assures profits, as there are many investors moving into these stocks strictly to bet on this bidding war.

Elliott Morss 2 years ago Author's comment

This is certainly a good strategy for those getting the news first. But my guess is that this information will almost instantly be reflected in prices....

William F. Lampe IV 2 years ago Member's comment

One could look at a shorter term RSI during expected times of Japan's announcement and react to that, but you're definitely right: it will be extremely difficult to capture the possible gains from shorting these stocks