Poker Coverage: Poker Legislation Poker Tournaments Daily Fantasy Sports 2016 WSOP

Global Online Gambling Market Growing At 11-Percent Clip

Europe Leading The Way, With The U.K. As The EU's Top Market

Print-icon
 

Between now and 2020, the global online gambling market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of nearly 11 percent, according to analysis released late last year from research group Technavio.

The global online gambling market is currently worth around $37 billion a year, as about 85 nations across the world have chosen to legalize Internet gambling, according to the American Gaming Association. The United States is a bit different than the rest of the group because only a few jurisdictions there—Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware—have legalized and regulated online casino gambling so far.

The lion’s share of online gambling revenue comes from Europe. According to the European Commission, online gambling is worth nearly $15 billion a year, and it’s growing faster than the rest of the world. Online gambling on the continent is seeing yearly growth of roughly 15 percent.

The healthiest online gambling market in Europe belongs to the United Kingdom. According to the most recent estimates, there are more than 18 million online gambling accounts in the U.K. alone, spread across dozens of sites, including InstaCasino. According to the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, between 2009 and 2005 online slots play increased 328 percent, while table games and poker grew by 52 and 26 percent, respectively.

The U.K. is especially favorable to online poker because it does not ring-fence its players like other European countries do. In other words, U.K. online poker players can battle it out on the felt with players from other countries as long as the platform has regulatory approval from the U.K. government.

France, Spain and Italy, for example, do not permit outside player pools, so their respective markets are obviously smaller. There are always talks of streamlining some of the rules across the EU, which would be especially beneficial given that the biggest growth area for online gambling is on mobile devices, making the games even more accessible to potential customers.

While the EU and the United States continue to make progress toward advancing their respective online gambling markets, Russia is considering legalizing and regulating the business. Roughly 8.4 percent of players on PokerStars are in Russia.