The global online gambling market has been growing sharply since 2017 when it was valued at $45.8 billion, approximately £33.89 billion (GBP/USD at 1.3514 on December 31, 2017). Statista analysts anticipate the global online gambling market will rise to $94.4 billion by 2024, approximately £72.28 billion (GBP/USD at 1.3062 on January 9, 2020). That represents an increase of £39.39 billion over seven years or a 116% growth rate over the same period.
Online gambling games include a variety of options for players such as sports betting, online poker, and online casino, etc. The sharp increase in player numbers is directly attributed to several factors, notably the increasing liberalization of gambling regulations around the world, and the impact of technological advancement and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Global Surge in Mobile Operating Systems Fuels Online Gambling Growth
Android and iOS apps and mobile responsive sites for online gambling are readily available to legal-age players in regulated jurisdictions. Smartphones, tablets, phablets, PC and Mac devices are now used by players to enjoy online gambling games. Currently, 74.13% of the market uses Android devices, and 24.79% use iOS devices. The sharp uptick in gambling numbers also follows hot on the heels of increased regulation across the United States, in New Jersey, Delaware, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. There is pending legislation in several additional states along the East Coast and further inland.
Strong Growth Trends in Online Gambling in the UK
In 2014, lawmakers adopted sweeping changes vis-a-vis remote gambling activity in the UK. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission, or the GBGC, indicates that the total gross gambling yield of the Great Britain gambling industry as of March 2019 is £14.4 billion, with £5.3 billion coming from the remote sector. Interesting trends are evident in the UK gambling industry, notably:
- £2.8 million GGY from gaming machines
- £2.1 billion GGY from remote casino games a.k.a. slots
- £1.1 billion GGY from bricks and mortar casinos in Britain
- £1.5 billion contributions to good causes from the National Lottery
- £332 million grants to good causes from large-scale lotteries
- £1.2 billion GGY from category B2 machines in the UK
- £1.1 billion total GGY from category B3 machines in the UK
The United Kingdom has one of the most established gambling markets in the world, with robust growth in recent years. In 2011, the GGY (Gross Gambling Yield) in Great Britain was £8.4 billion. By March 2019, the gambling industry posted a figure of £14.4 billion.
It is worth noting that approximately 50% of gambling businesses in the United Kingdom employ less than ten people. The gambling authorities maintain a player-centric focus, with a strict regulatory framework according to which licensed operators must act.
The rules set forth by the GBGC are designed to provide safeguards for players against illegal operators. Responsible gaming conduct is an integral component of the online gambling industry in the UK, and operators are mandated by law to comply with responsible gaming practices. These include KYC (know your customer), AML (anti-money-laundering) effective since June 2018, and SSL operations to protect the integrity of player accounts and information.
The legal gambling age in Britain is 18+, with the majority of active players falling into the 45-64-year-old age group. According to the GBGC (2018 figures), some 36.6 million online gambling customer accounts were registered, and 33.6 million of them were active accounts. The average amount of gaming machines in the United Kingdom (in 2019) is reported at 179,556, and some 32% of legal-age Britons gamble on a weekly basis. Statistics further indicate that £828 million in funds are held in accounts with regulated online gambling companies.
IBIS World Report on Global Casinos & Online Gambling Industry
In the five years since 2014, the global online gambling industry has shifted away from the United States to China. No longer are Las Vegas and Atlantic City the bastions of global gambling enterprise; Macau is the new kingpin. Industry reports indicate that there were 41 casinos located in Macau in 2019, with new casinos set to open in 2020 and beyond.
Asia has fast-tracked the construction and development of casinos, with Singapore featuring prominently in the gambling arena. The rising rate of online gambling activity is evident in the rapid growth of the online gambling market. Consider that the size of the online gambling market was $20.51 billion in 2009, $34.81 billion in 2014, and it is anticipated to hit $59.79 billion by the end of 2020.
In terms of online gambling activities, sports betting remains the dominant component among players. An estimated 40.31% + of online gambling activities involve sports betting. Close in two are online casino games, on websites such as Karamba.com, at 32.14% of online gambling activities, followed by lottery games at 13.27%, poker games at 6.12%, bingo at 4.59%, and other games at 3.57%.
Based on the statistics, the online gambling industry can be further segmented according to region, with the following percentages:
- Europe – 22.4% of global online gambling activity
- Asia Pacific – 11.72% of global online gambling activity
- North America – 7.9% of global online gambling activity
- The Rest of the World – 4% of global online gambling activity
In Europe, there has been a steady growth in online gambling gross win between 2017 and 2020:
- 2017 – €19.6 billion
- 2018 – €21.5 billion
- 2019 – €23.1 billion
- 2020 – €24.7 billion
The data from the global online gambling market indicates the steady growth of mobile gaming (Android and iOS), a notable increase in online sports betting, lottery games, and bingo. The lion’s share of growth is vested in online casino games like blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and slot machine games.
Regulated and licensed gaming providers now showcase an increasing number of software providers on their platforms, increasing the number of games available to players and in-game options they can enjoy. When surveyed, players routinely highlight the appeal of demo-play games, promotional offers, and live dealer games, in addition to the comfort and convenience of remote gaming activity.