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Gaming versus gambling ARPUs

Online poker revenue datapoint
This article on the online poker industry in Italy was interesting enough that I had to post it:

Online poker players in Italy spend an average of $881 per person a year on the pastime producing a yearly haul of $514 million according to a new survey released as the nation’s Government gets set to legalise, license and control Internet gambling.

Normalized down to month, this nets out to $73 ARPU/month!

I have no idea how this compares to the broader set of online gambling, or if it mostly has to do with the specific demographics in Italy.

Comparison to virtual good games
Compare this some numbers that Jeremy Liew posted in his excellent analysis on free-to-play and Facebook app monetization.

  • Second Life: $9.30 ARPU/month
  • Club Penguin: $1.62 ARPU/month
  • Habbo Hotel: $1.30 ARPU/month
  • Runescape: $0.84 ARPU/month
  • Facebook apps: $1.20 ARPU/month
Given that games and gambling go (somewhat) hand-in-hand, at least in terms of product and design, I’m curious what you might be able to learn in one that you could apply to the other. This is similar to the common belief that the techniques in the online direct response world all trace their roots in the adult industry.
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