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How Much Betting Is Really Going On?

By RJ Bell
President of Pregame.com

I was excited to be asked to appear live by phone on an ABC News nationwide broadcast of "Money Matters" on the afternoon of February 8, 2006.

The show went well, and the folks at ABC are a class act. The main subject of the show was how much gambling is actually going on in the United States. Here are some facts that didn't make the show that I thought would be of interest:

  • 7 of 10 U.S. adults placed some sort of wager in the last year.
  • According to the NCAA, 35% of male college students bet on sports.
  • $600 billion changed hands last year worldwide as a result of gambling.
  • The online gambling industry generated $12 billion in revenue in 2005.
  • Online sports betting is estimated to be 5 times bigger than Las Vegas sports betting. Illegal sports betting (barroom bookies) is estimated to be 35 times bigger than Nevada.
  • Over 20 gambling companies are listed on non-U.S. stock exchanges. The biggest poker company has a market value of almost $9 billion. The biggest sports betting company has a market value of almost $3 billion.
  • The biggest sportsbooks employee over 2,000 people during football season.
  • The MGM-Mirage has publicly lobbied to allow U.S. companies to take part in online gambling.
  • Gambling is entering mainstream corporate America: Liberty Media (owner of the QVC and Encore TV networks) is finalizing the purchase of Fun Technologies, which owns a majority interest in the Don Best sports information company.

Special thanks to all of you that emailed after seeing me on ABC. As always, the Pregame team is here to add to your sports betting fun.

RJ Bell - rj@pregame.com

Pregame.com provides info worth betting, including coverage of online gambling facts; plus offshore sports betting & internet casino stats.

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