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Online casinos hit advertising jackpot

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By Scarlet Pruitt

(IDG) -- Las Vegas beware: Online gambling sites are growing in popularity and visibility, making them a winning force in the online advertising market, according to a report released Wednesday by Jupiter Media Metrix Inc.

Online casinos, once limited to gaming and entertainment sites, are now splashing their services across a host of mainstream sites, making them the fifth-largest industry in terms of online advertising, Jupiter said. The researcher, which ranks the online ad success of 138 industry segments, noted that casinos had moved up from the eleventh largest advertiser in December of 2000, with 911 million ad viewings, to its current fifth-place spot in December of 2001 with 2.5 billion viewings.

Gambling sites' online blitz pits them against mainstream advertisers such as retailers and financial advertisers in the battle for mindshare, Jupiter said.

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Back in December of 2000, casino ads were mostly limited to gaming sites, but a year later 39 percent of casino ads appeared on general interest portal sites, Jupiter reported.

And these ads seem to be working. According to Jupiter, gambling sites had 13.6 million unique visitors in December of 2001, spending a total of 274 million minutes on the sites. Visitors averaged 20.2 minutes per month in the virtual casinos, compared to the average 9.8 minutes per month users spent on health information sites, and 35.8 minutes a month users spent on travel sites.

So, who are these online gamblers? According to the researcher, middle-aged, lower-income, and childless users are leading the traffic trail to online casinos.

Men and women between the ages of 25 and 54 are more likely to visit the sites, Jupiter said, and 55 percent of online gamblers do not have children. Meanwhile, 13 percent of online gamblers have household incomes less than $25,000. Online gamblers aren't just placing their bets from home. According to Jupiter, 3.9 million users are visiting online gambling sites from work, compared to the 10.7 million home gamblers.

Some of the most popular online gambling sites include Kcasino.com and Webstakes.com, both of which had 2.3 million unique visitors in December of 2001. These sites were trailed by Aceshigh.com, with 2.1 million visitors during the same period, and Luckynugget.com, with 1.7 million.

The top sites according to average time spent per users were Bingocanada.com, at an average 27 minutes per user in December of 2001, and Webstakes.com, with an average 23.9 minutes per user, Jupiter said.

The casino category has become significant enough that the researcher said that it is adding it to its monthly syndicated user reports.


 
 
 
 


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