According to the European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA), the iGaming market saw €22.2 billion ($24.8 billion) in online gambling gross gaming revenue (GGR), up from $22.34 billion a year prior. Of the members of the organization, which include bet365, Betsson Group, GVC Holdings PLC, Kindred Group PLC, MRG and ZEAL Network, these reported 16.5 million active users that led to $6.04 billion in GGR. This was 24% of the EU iGaming GGR total and was shared between the members’ operations in 20 EU countries.
Of all the regions under the EU umbrella, the U.K. online gaming market was the most lucrative. It accounted for 34.2% of the market and, at the end of last year, had a market value of $8.15 billion when measured by GGR.
Offline gambling still is king, but the trend is definitely shifting. Last year saw the offline gambling market take in $82.09 billion, which was 76.8% of all the activity. However, it is also 4% less than it was a year earlier.
Not surprisingly, sports wagers led the way for all gambling activity in the EU. The EGBA explains, “Sports betting was the most popular online gambling activity with 42.5% of the total EU market share (worth [$10.5 billion GGR], followed by casino games at 32.4% [$8.04 billion GGR], lottery at 12.6% [$3.12 billion GGR], poker at 5% [$1.22 billion GGR], bingo at 4.3% [$1.11 billion GGR], and other games with a 3.2% market share [$781.9 million GGR].”
When it comes to gamblers’ preferences for placing bets, computers are currently winning over devices such as smartphones and tablets. Desktop computers controlled 57% of online bets last year, while the mobile devices controlled 43%. However, this is a stark contrast to just a year earlier, when mobile saw penetration of 39% of the market. This shift is expected to continue across the EU, and also in other jurisdictions across the globe.
Maarten Haijer, the EGBA’s General Secretary, asserts, “Europe’s online gambling market continues to show a strong demand-driven growth and a switch to mobile devices. But its increased popularity reinforces the need for more consistent and strong consumer protections and industry standards across all EU countries. The current situation of diverging and sometimes conflicting regulations in EU countries is detrimental to consumers, authorities and operators alike.”