online gambling boom driven by broadband take-up
While a large portion of those 3.2 million visitors comprised gamblers visiting the website of the UK National Lottery (1.3 million), Nielsen//NetRatings claims that the growth in in online gambling population has been driven primarily by site other than the National Lottery. Other online gambling sites, notably online casinos, sportsbooks and poker rooms have driven the growth and leading this charge are the likes of PartyPoker.com, William Hill and the Gambling Club online casino.
One of the key reasons driving the growth in online gambling participation in the UK, is thought to be increased broadband penetration. Almost three quarters of the UK's online gamblers are using high speed broadband connections, and are said to spend around 20 minute at a time gambling online. Broadband connections allow for much faster downloads and make it easier and more convenient for punters to trial online gambling offerings. Naturally, if you are inclined to dabble at an online casino then you are far more likely to give it a try if you only have to wait a minute or 2 to download the casino software, compared to the dial-up wait of around 30 minutes. According to Gabrielle Prior, European internet analyst at Nielsen//NetRatings, the UK's braodband boom is showing no signs of slowing, and consequently, online gambling take-up is set to continue at a rapid rate.
Interestingly enough, online gambling take-up across the rest of Europe is not happening as quickly. Around 14 million Europeans visited online gambling site in February 2005, representing around 14% Europes online community. Take-up in Spainand Italy is particularly low with an estimated 10% of internet users visiting online gambling sites during the same period.
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