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Global Profitability of Online Gambling In 2013

By: Russell Potvin

Global Profitability of Online Gambling

Tues. Dec. 09, 2014

When it comes to real money betting and gaming, this global industry is worth over $417 billion. In a report by H2 Gambling Capital, it was mentioned that with the exception of lottery and skill based games, the regulated online gambling industry, on a global scale, already generates over $30 billion in gross wins. The UK and European markets account for the biggest share of this at 54%.

The UK market is often described as one of the most developed Western markets for online betting and gaming due to its size and maturity. In 2013 the total consumer expenditure in the UK market exceeded £2.5 billion. The UK online gaming industry has a growth rate of 12% which means this industry could reach nearly £4.4 billion by 2018. New regulations are always being looked at and put in place and the UK has bought out a new ruling that will see online gambling being taxed based on where players reside. This new law will come into effect in December 2014.

Over the past few years, the regulated real-money gambling industry in Italy has seen considerable growth with the total amount wagered in gambling going from 15 billion Euro in 2003 to over 87 billion in 2012. The Gross Gambling Revenue (GGR) was 17.4 billion euro in 2012.

In France, online gambling and betting has been legal since 2010 but a lot of people choose to play at unregulated sites because of the high taxes paid by the French regulated sites. The French Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne, usually referred to as ARJEL, governs and regulates the the online gambling industry in France. It came into effect on the 12th of May 2010 and currently only online operators offering sportsbook betting, horse racing, and poker games can get an ARJEL license. The online casino industry is also very popular, yet this segment is not taxable revenue.

Profitability of Newly Regulated Markets in the US

The H2 Gambling Capital report also indicates the potential of the US market in light of legislation now being passed in a number of US states. According to this report, if things proceed as predicted, the US could see gross winning of over $7.4 billion by the year 2017. This will in turn represent approximately 30% of the global online gaming market with continuous growth expected year after year. Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware were legalized in 2013 and as the states in which legalization legislation has been introduced continues to grow, we could see California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania following. In New Jersey, online gaming began on the 26th of November, 2013, and generated $8.3 million by the year's end. GamblingData predicts that New Jersey's online gambling market will generate around $262 million in 2014 and up to $463 million by 2017.

Online Gambling in the Asia-Pacific Region

Online gambling is spreading in the Asia Pacific region. In Australia, online sports betting and gambling has been growing by over 30% annually. Singapore doesn't allow gambling, and the government is currently considering introducing measures to restrict online gambling. In Japan, only the national lottery operator has a legal online betting site. A bill to legalize casinos was submitted to the Japanese parliament in 2013 with a decision expected in 2014. Online gambling is prohibited in China, however, gambling is allowed in Macau.

Online gambling is only starting to emerge in Africa and the first regulated online casino was in Kenya which launched in 2013. In South Africa, online gambling is awaiting legalization which should come during 2014.

Online Gambling Trends to Watch

The major trends in online gambling and betting globally are mobile and social gambling. The mobile gambling market is expected to grow at double digit rates and reach over 40% of the total online gambling market by 2018. Social gambling, which has evolved from the desire of game developers to monetize gaming on social networks is a trend to watch also. The growing acceptance of the digital currency Bitcoin is another trend is online gambling and one that is proving to be very successful indeed.