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Survey Shows Boom in Online Gaming – January 27th, 2005

Casino NewsWe are, it seems, a nation of virtual poker-lovers. And while the Welsh favour a game of craps in a traditional casino, Yorkshire folk prefer a little online flutter, according to a new report into the UK’s gambling habits.

The survey, compiled by the gambling website and the magazine Inside Edge, quizzed 2,726 people across the UK over three months.

They discovered that 39% of the nation cites poker as their favourite game, followed by roulette (22%) and blackjack (18%). And while conventional casinos remain popular, the growing success of the online industry is indisputable. In the UK alone, the report claimed, four million people gamble online each month, and, since 2003, the amount of money staked online has risen by 566%.

“The industry’s in a massive boom at the minute,” said Matt Robinson,’s UK marketing manager. “Last week we registered our 13 millionth member… and the UK is one of our top five markets.”

The figures are likely to worry those who fear that the UK has a growing infatuation with virtual gambling. The question now is whether the gambling bill, which will make it possible for online gaming companies – currently based offshore – to operate within the UK, will fuel this infatuation further.

The problem with offshore sites is that they operate outside government controls, leaving the site-users vulnerable – bank details may be intercepted, for example, and children can easily register to bet.

“Online gambling is on the rise,” a spokesman for the Gaming Board for Great Britain said. “The laws of 40 years ago are no longer able to deal with modern gambling.”

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