Global gaming markets are looking at healthy upward growth over the next five years.

It looks like the economy’s slow but steady recovery worldwide is right in line with the movement of international gaming markets; that’s the word from, an outfit that assesses various industries and their market potential and growth. According to the site, over the next five years, the worldwide gaming industry will continue its upwards swing, ultimately reaching about $173.5 billion by 2018, based on a projected 5.5% annualized growth rate. Other sources estimate growth to be on an even higher upward trend, expecting it to reach $182.8 billion as early as 2015.

Global Markets Beginning to Bounce Back

The upward trend will reflect several key factors, including general global economic recovery, new international markets opening up in places like Sri Lanka and Vietnam, the slow but steady movement of legalized online gambling in the United States, and the potential opening of Japan as a new legal gaming arena in anticipation of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Overall, it’s expected that more than 5,000 new gaming operators – online and on land – will be entering the gambling market over the course of the next five years globally, which represents a 2.1% average annual growth rate for the gaming industry worldwide.
The key driving factors for growth overall will be the combined firepower of expanding legal Internet gambling sites (primarily in the U.S.) and by the exploding growth of brick-and-mortar casinos in Asia and Malaysia, including Macau, Singapore, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, and the possibility of Japan.

New Online U.S. Markets Will Help Spur Growth

The global casino and gambling market is currently estimated to be in the $130.5 billion range. The impending debut of New Jersey’s online casinos – which will offer a full range of gambling options, not just poker, to its 9 million residents and probably many more weekend warriors – as well as Delaware’s expected jump into the real money online fray in the near future, are expected to help spur the growth trend. New Jersey has announced an anticipated November 23, 2013 launch date for their real money games, and Delaware unveiled free money casino games this month, with a possible October jump into real money for that state.
Over the course of the past five years, a steady shift has occurred in the global casino markets’ epicenter: from Las Vegas and other primary U.S. gaming markets to Macau, which now far exceeds any other gambling destination in the world for annual revenue intake. According to the report, this trend will continue its groundswell.
Already in just 2013, Macau has added an additional 33 casinos to its offerings, a growth rate unmatched anywhere else. Singapore is also becoming a major force in the land casino industry, and that’s with only two mega-casino resorts to its name. Because countries like Vietnam and China allow only controlled and very limited local access to any of their casinos, these properties have tended to rely more on international VIP (i.e., extremely wealthy) players.
As far as growth and revenue spikes, Asia looks much more promising than the U.S., particularly when it comes to the land casino markets. Whereas revenue intakes overall are expected to bourgeon at an anticipated average annual rate of 2.4% to reach $132.9 billion this year (with a 3.2% growth rate this year alone), most of that growth will be from the expansion of the Asian brick-and-mortar casinos. In fact, the more established gaming markets – including Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and long-time European land casinos – are actually expected to stay flat when it comes to earnings, as the surrounding economies are still in struggle mode to bounce back from the massive global recession of 2008.