Here are some awesome statistics that few people realize when they think about China. We all know there are more than 1.3 billion people in China (another billion or so in India). But few realize that as of May 2012, according to mobithinking.com, China surpassed the 1 billion mark in mobile subscribers, the 400 million mark in mobile internet users, and the 150 million mark for 3G phone users. There are over 513 million broadband internet users, accounting for only 38% of the population. By comparison, the US has only 245 million internet users, with a penetration rate of nearly 78%. There are over 140,000 internet cafes/bars in China, with a total of over 14 million computers each logging over 11 hours of continuous usage per day, and the majority of the revenue from all these internet cafes comes from internet gaming. On average, China’s internet users spend 18.3 hours per week on internet access, or 2.6 hours per day, according to China Internet Watch.
While gambling is still strictly prohibited on Mainland China (except for SAR Macau), according to the Center for China Lottery Studies in Beijing, in 2010 nearly US$15 billion in underground gambling passed through the hands of avid gamblers, and roughly half of that involved using the internet or mobile devices in one form or another. This speaks volumes about the future of legal and regulated online gambling in China, as the demand is there and the potential for a successful launch is every online operator’s dream. This dream, however, has to be tempered with the fact that changes in regulations to allow for online gaming in China will not happen overnight and everything in China is a step-by-step approach. However, this does not chill the prospect that nearly half a billion eager internet users can someday access an online platform to satisfy their gaming appetite, as not every Chinese Mainlander can make the trek to Macau regularly. The potential is limitless.
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