Europeans like their American counterparts are also fond of gambling. The latest form uses digital or interactive TV where betting, gaming (bingo and casino-style games) and lotteries can be done online.
Lotteries are popular in Europe and national lottery operators are, in fact, eyeing to provide online services. In Germany, lotteries generated a record high of 25 million Euros in December 2004 alone.
Online gambling is also flourishing in the United Kingdom notably in the island of Alderney where two electronic betting licenses, 14 interactive gaming licenses and one bookmarking license are in existence.
Casino gambling should not be taken for granted. In Western Europe, 20 countries have casinos while four countries have pari-mutuel facilities that involve horse racing and dog racing. They also this so-called “racinos” (combination of racing and casinos) which feature slot machines or video poker terminals within easy reach of the gamblers betting on horses and dogs.
Horse racing tracks in Europe are located in Eskilstuna and Taby, Sweden and in Bad Doberan, Baden-Baden, Bremen, Beckingen, Dortmund, Dresden and Cuxhaven, all in Germany. In the U.K., horse track racinos are located in Manchester. In Eastern Europe, the pari-mutuel wagering system is used in races involving horses, boats, bicycles as well as lotteries.
Horse racing can either be harness racing or thoroughbred horse racing. Harness racing is more popular in many parts of Europe. In the U.K., horse racing may involve obstacles called national hunt racing and the unobstructed races over a certain distance known as flat racing.
People in Europe also enjoy placing their bets on the ever famous poker game especially at sites. Poker tournaments are held in the continent from time to time. Poker is enjoyed by those in Eastern Europe, too. Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, for instance, enjoys banana poker and matrix poker. Sweden hosted two tournaments that benefited the tsunamis victims in Southeast Asia. Online poker is also popular in the U.K. with people betting up to $1 million.
Gambling on cell phones is also on the rise in Europe. This has attracted businessmen involved in the mobile phone and the gambling industries from all levels. It is expected that the cell phone gambling industry will generate $19 billion by 2009. In fact, the first mobile gambling summit held in 2005 was a big success with 150 cell phone gambling experts attending the seminar. Those who took part included mobile network operators, gambling operators, software providers, legal firms, payment and billing specialists and leading analysts.