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Culture

Broadband fuels online gambling boom

Increasing availability of high-speed connections encourages more people to try their luck online.

Internet gambling continues to grow at a rapid pace in the United Kingdom, as the increasing availability of broadband encourages more people to try their luck online. According to Internet research company Nielsen/NetRatings, the online gambling audience in the United Kingdom has increased by 45 percent compared with last year, with 3.2 million people visiting gambling sites in February.

The National Lottery is the most popular gambling site for U.K. betters, with more than 1.3 million visitors in February 2005, making it one of the top 40 most visited sites in the country. William Hill came in second, followed by Partypoker.com. Gabrielle Prior, European Internet analyst at Nielsen/NetRatings, said: "We know from earlier survey work that U.K. gamblers like the speed and convenience of betting online, and as the broadband boom continues, we expect more people to try online gambling."

Steve Ranger of Silicon.com reported from London.