Goldman Sachs: US to Legalize Online Gambling

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Posted on Jul 9th 2009  -  Subject: Goldman Sachs: US to Legalize Online Gambling

Online gambling will eventually be legalized in the United States, American investment bank Goldman Sachs predicted in a note sent to investors last week.

According to the report, a legal online poker and casino market would be worth up to $12 billion, too great a benefit for lawmakers to ignore.

"We believe it is logical to assume that the US market will eventually regulate - given the potential implications for US tax take, if nothing else," the bank said.

"Were the market to be legalized, we believe that the size of the revenue opportunity could increase materially... Based on an assumption of 30% penetration of offline poker players and $300 gross gaming revenue (GGR) per player, we estimate that a legal poker market could be worth $3bn."

The report reached its conclusions based on a "grossing up" of PartyGaming's intake relative to its nine percent of the market share. Based on that, the American poker market was found to be worth $1.5 billion in 2008.

Despite the optimistic outlook, Goldman Sachs added efforts to regulate online gambling federally, could take time, and that efforts would move faster at a state level.

It was recently reported that hearings on legislation introduced by US Congressman Barney Frank (D - MA) to overturn laws against online gambling have been delayed until at least September.

Frank introduced HR 2267 and HR 2266 as part of the push he is leading to overturn the the2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which effectively banned Internet gambling by outlawing the transfer of funds from financial institutions to gambling websites.

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