It seems that it is very hard to make predictions on gambling, this year even more difficult than the other years, and online gambling much more difficult than the classical gambling.
2008 will be a very good year for the land casinos. Las Vegas has some big problems that will allow to other entertainment centers to compete successfully with the Sin City.
After several years of standby, Atlantic City will know in 2008 a new development period by building new casinos and improving the old ones.
But Macau will be the star of this year, with the most new projects for casinos, hotels and entertainment resorts. Cotai Strip will be the new center of the gambling world.
The Europeans will have their own Las Vegas too, soon. Gran Scala in Spain is a very ambitious project. This year we will see if it is a certitude for the next years, or just a chimera.
And, to not forget Russia! Russia made no major step till now, but it is very close to invest a lot of money. And, what about the Arabian gambling? Do you bet on the development of a very powerful casino entertainment center in Dubai? The partnership with MGM Mirage is just the beginning. I know about the Islamic rules, but I bet on it.
For me, a big surprise for this year is Harrah’s Entertainment. No big new projects and, at the end of the last year, the bomb (in fact, expected since a year ago): new owners for the casino and hotel resort chain of the world’s largest provider of branded casino entertainment. The surprise is even bigger taking into consideration the successful act of online gambling ban (see UIGEA). So, my prediction is that MGM Mirage will become soon #1 in the casino entertainment industry.
As for online gambling, very bad news, unfortunately. After UIGEA in US, Canada intends to ban the online gambling too, Germany already announced the interdiction for online gambling as well as for advertising the web/based gambling. There are signs that Italy will be soon with Germany on the same part of the barricade and, from the East European countries, Romania has a draft law to ban online gambling and any other related activity since two years ago, so it is possible to discuss it very soon. In this situation, and after the agreement with US, the European Commission it is possible to change its rules about online gambling even this year. I see UK the only country of the European Union that will allow the online gambling in the near future.
It is very interesting how United States, after deciding to ban the online gambling, and by means of the media, it is very close to change the mentality and principles of the whole world about online gambling. Most of the people considered online gambling a way of entertainment as any other, two years ago. Now, the same people are very convicted that they always was against online gambling and online casinos.
A special situation for online poker. If the online poker associations from US will earn the battle to allow this game on Internet (and it is a very powerful lobby for this), all the other countries, including Germany and Canada, will say that they never banned the online poker and will make an exception from the rules. But this will not happen, anyway, this year.
But we will see a spectacular increase of the skill games.
In fact, in the United States the future of the online gambling will be decided during and after the elections stated for this year, 2008. So, when you will vote, take into consideration your own option for online gambling, too.
(These predictions are based on my own experience, do not include any other considerations, I do not claim to be in accordance with the future events, I am not implied in the gambling industry except as a publisher, and I do not advice you to use it)