While online gambling becomes ever more popular, who would have thought that there would be benefits for land casinos? In the most part – especially in the USA – Land casinos have been concerned that online gambling would cannibalize their existing business. But a new report from the University of Nevada reveals that the ‘economics of poker’ will expand the market-base enjoyed by the live casino industry, driving additional business into traditional card rooms.
If we think about this logically, it makes a great deal of good sense. Many online poker players turn pro and don’t only take their custom online. The biggest poker competitions in the world also become grist for their mill, and we see many players who got their start online, playing in the WSOP and WPT, as well as other tournaments. In fact, many online poker sites offer prizes of seats (buy-in) as well as packages for accommodation and travel, for major off-line poker tournaments. PokerStars even hosts their own sponsored large land poker tournaments.
Responsible for this report – Kahlil Simeon Philander – tells us that their academic study suggests that popular belief does not cut the cards. The opinion is that these results might also bring about the long-awaited change to Federal laws in the USA, much earlier than some experts have predicted.
Philander agrees with world-renowned expert – Dr Ingo Fielder of the University of Hamburg – who is responsible for the ‘economics of poker’. Research suggests that perceived opinion is contrary to what actually takes place, and live casino operators who lobby against new online gambling laws in the USA are doing themselves a great disservice. They believe that live casino ops should not be concerned by changing laws, and should welcome them instead. Dr Fielder says “I am certain that this will be new information to the US Government.”
The research took information collated from the University of Hamburg ‘Online Poker Database’ which is the largest of its kind in the world. The information was then used to track online Poker player activity. It has shown that although additional revenue from online gambling is small compared to that generated by live casinos – it still incrementally affects live revenues in a positive way. The findings do not suggest in any way that online poker revenues substitute the earnings of live poker rooms. This offers empirical evidence to a rather unsettling question.
This study has opened the eyes of much online poker and gambling experts, they are now hopeful that laws will change to benefit them in the USA. Some US land casino operators, especially in the Tribal Indian operational sphere have, made it blatantly clear that they will not support any new online gambling laws; unless they fully understand the implications to their business. This research offers some hope. It is the first to shed some light on this issue, that they can see the online gambling industry as an opportunity as opposed to a threat. Live and online gambling are complementary goods!