The global rise of online gambling is generating much more cash than that of Hollywood movies in 2011. This is according to a report by leading information service company , Global Information Inc. The total revenues generated by Hollywood movies worldwide was “only” $26 billion while South America alone generated over $124 billion in online gaming and betting on the same year.

This figure gives you an idea of how big it really is despite being highly regulated in many parts of the globe. Currently most online gambling is illegal in the U.S. and Latin America except for Chile and Argentina. In the Asia-Pacific Region it is only legal in the Philippines. Europe is undergoing changes in its regulation of gaming on the internet and the legislation varies from country to country. In 2011 the mobile segment only accounted for 1% of the global market but this figure has increased dramatically in 2012 and is set to be one of the main growth sectors in the gambling world.

In the U.S the effect of widespread banning of online gambling has led to Americans using offshore sites to play their favorite games. Currently the lottery is the most popular game for U.S. gamblers with over 50% partaking. In terms of online gambling only a single-digit figure of Americans indulge in internet betting.

Canada is a good example of how governments can adopt a constructive approach to online gambling. They have started opening up the market in order to enjoy the benefits of gambling tax revenues. Despite being largely banned in South America, internet gaming increased in 2011 to such an extent that it generated over €100 billion in gross revenues.

Another interesting finding of the report was that in 2012 casino operators are increasingly using social networks like Facebook to expand their target audience. Examples of this are IGT who purchased DoubleDown for $500 million in January this year.

With more and more countries opening up their online gaming markets, these figures are set to rise even further with mobile casino games set to feature prominently.

Global Information Inc. is a worldwide information service who have partnerships with hundreds off research companies. They have been around for over 25 years in which they have distributed both market and technical research.