It is a Friday night and Cory and Neil are on decent rolls on the roulette and blackjack tables.
The 25-year-olds (who did not want their last names used) are a business graduate student and a law student, respectively, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Neither man knows or even notices the other.
They are not dressed the way you might think good gamblers would be – fancy jeans and shiny, colorful club shirts, or business suits with gorgeous women on their arms.
Instead of a seafood buffet and a bar with high-end booze, Cory is casually dressed in his pajamas and has an end table with chips, dip, pizza and a can of Miller Light. Neil is not eating. There are no other gamblers or gawkers around him.
And their roulette and blackjack tables? They are confined to computer monitors in corners of their apartments.
Next year will mark the 10-year anniversary of online casinos. More than 5 million Americans have accounts with Internet gambling sites, according to a recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
In 2005, the number of Web situs judi poker gamblers in the United States will reach about 7.4 million, according to the St. Louis-based gambling analysts River City Group.
“The reason it’s been so successful is that people are more comfortable with technology,” said Cory Aronovitz, founder of the Chicago-based Casino Law Group. ” . . . So more people are comfortable staying home to do their gaming.”
And it appears more people are “staying home” in the Midwest than in other parts of the country. CasinoFortune.com, one of the oldest online casinos, said its highest concentration of players – more than 420,000 – is spread among Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Ohio.
The GAO reported recently 2003 online …