Gambling revenues to soar to $183bn by 2015

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The Independent Online

Britain was one of the few growth markets for casinos and online gambling in 2010, driven by the popularity of gaming machines, although the global industry is set to rocket by almost 10 per cent a year, figures suggest.

Revenues from casinos and online gaming activities rose by 0.6 per cent in the UK last year, according to the consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). It predicts that global revenues in the casino and online gaming industry will grow by 9.2 per cent a year until 2015, rising from $117.6bn (£75.4bn) in 2010 to $182.8bn in 2015. The principal growth will be in Asia, with Macau the "jewel in the crown".

While the UK casino market totalled $1.2bn, gaming machines in generated more than $3bn. The online gaming industry has continued to evolve, PwC said, adding that the UK was the largest legal online gaming market.

David Trunkfield, the lead gaming partner at PwC, said further growth in Britain was likely to be supported by the opening of 16 new casinos next year. He expects that new casinos will "help to generate gains averaging 4.1 per cent compounded annually between 2012 and 2015".

But Mr Trunkfield warned that the pressures on UK consumers would lead to casino revenues falling in 2011, before showing a slight advance next year. The casino market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) was the hardest hit of all, falling by 12 per cent in 2009 and a further 7.2 per cent in 2010. "Weak economic conditions and the impact of adverse regulatory developments in some countries will curtail growth," Mr Trunkfield said.

He predicted that revenues in the EMEA market would hit $18.3bn in 2015, up from $16.3bn in 2010.