The Balkan Gambling Market, Worth Euro 4.5 Billion and Growing but Little Known - New Report on the Balkan Gambling Markets Available

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After expanding in continental and southern Europe, the global gambling industry is now going east and focusing on the Balkan states and Eastern Europe for its further expansion. Especially the Balkan states are increasingly drawing a lot of interest, despite - or perhaps because - of the current global economic crisis. And the key figures of the Balkan gambling market account for this interest: A market size of Euro 4.5 billion (gross revenue), above-average popularity of gambling, particularly of sports betting, 130 million people, and the impending EU-membership of many states, just to mention a few. The consulting firm MECN has compiled a new study, "The Balkan Gambling Markets," analysing these exciting markets in great detail.

London/Munich, December 18, 2008: Gambling market of Euro 4.5 billion and more to come. The Balkan gambling markets (Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, and Bulgaria) already have a remarkable market size, and most experts confirm that the Balkan markets have a great growth potential in the coming years:

  • Total gambling market of Euro 4.5 billion - In 2007 the total Balkan gambling market's estimated gross revenue (after payout of prizes) was ca. Euro 4.5 billion; the figure for turnover/wagers came to ca. Euro 25 billion. If nonlicensed gambling operators were included, these figures would be even higher.
  • Great growth potential - More than 60% of the experts surveyed by MECN believe that the growth potential of the Balkan gambling market is great or even very great. Hardly any market insiders (only 3% all surveyed experts) believe the market has only a small growth potential.
  • Betting and interactive sector drive the Balkan gambling markets - According to market insiders, the betting and interactive sectors have the greatest growth potential in the Balkan gambling industry.
  • Increasing liberalisation - On the whole, the experts believe that the Balkan nations will liberalise their gambling markets.

Some forerunners among the gambling operators are paving the way
Some forerunners among the global key players in the retail and interactive gambling market are already getting established in the Balkan states. For example, Intralot is on the way to becoming a retail betting heavyweight in the region. Regarding interactive gambling, Sportingbet is already realising about 4% of its business in Bulgaria whereas Bwin and Bet-at-home have just recently increased their focus and investments in the Balkan region.

  • Future investment strategy of gambling operators - According to the MECN survey, about 20%-30% of the operators surveyed are currently planning to increase their investment in the Balkans - primarily in Croatia, Romania, and Greece. The majority of the operators surveyed are currently in the process of developing their Balkan market strategy and evaluating whether/how to increase their investment and focus in the near future.
  • Leading Internet operators provide localised offerings in nearly all Balkan states - More and more Internet operators are adding Balkan languages and currencies to their localised offerings. For example, nearly all major operators offer localised versions of their products in Turkey and Greece.

The new MECN report includes analyses of all gambling sectors, current market figures, legal and tax information, ... For this report MECN was able to gather some of the most renowned local market insiders and authors.

The study can be obtained at: http://www.balkan-gambling.mecn.net
About MECN:
MECN is a network of experts on issues concerning the media and entertainment industry. Together they provide in-depth knowledge, analysis, and advice to global clients.

Contact: Martin Oelbermann, Tel: +49 (0)89 3835 6785

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MARTIN OELBERMANN
MECN
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