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betting has been part of our culture since
ancient times. However, a lot has changed
from the days when gamblers bet on gladiatorial fights to when gamblers nowadays are betting online
from the comfort of their couches.
According to a study, the global
online gambling and betting market was valued at $ 50 billion in 2019 and is projected to
reach $ 100 billion by 2026. The global online gambling
and betting market is expected to grow at an average annual
of 10% from 2019 to 2026.
The growth of the global gambling market is
currently being driven primarily by North America and Europe, encouraged by factors
such as the increase in per
capita income, the high level of acceptance and the
growing interest of the younger population as well as the increasing legalization of gambling.
Due to the further development of sports betting, different habits and trends have emerged in the various markets.
Depending on the cultural and political circumstances, there are strong differences
in the modalities and possibilities of sports betting from country to country.
International betting providers in particular are faced
with the challenge of adapting their products, their offerings
and their marketing to the requirements of the respective markets.
In this article, the special characteristics and habits of the various
markets are to be examined in more detail and discussed with regard to current trends.
In part one we are going to address the markets of Europe, the Middle East and
The EU market is the largest and most competitive for online gambling.
In 2018, the EU accounted for 49.2% of the global online gambling market and this is expected to remain relatively stable
until at least 2020. With sports betting legalized in some US states, European companies are now beginning to gain a foothold in the US market,
increasing their influence and bringing their expertise to
There is no sector-specific EU legislation in the
area of gambling. The EU countries are autonomous in the way they organize their gambling
services, although in most EU countries at least some games of chance can be offered on the internet.
The market generates much of its revenue (as
measured by gross gaming revenue / GGR) in the UK, Italy,
France, Spain and Germany as most companies use
expansion into regulated markets as a strategy to generate sustainable revenue.
The most popular sports in Europe are football
Above all, the growth of the European online gambling market was motivated by the exponential popularity and the increasing number of live
casinos and sports betting, the burgeoning hardware and software innovations as well as the improved usability and accessibility of the Internet.
With the rise of technology and the increase in online users, the European iGaming market is
growing steadily and is expected to show an annual growth rate of
almost 10% until 2025 - the online sector is thus growing significantly
faster than retail casinos or betting shops. The economic size
(or gross gaming revenue) of the EU online sector is projected to increase from € 22.2 billion in 2018 to € 29.3 billion in 2022.
Strong growth in the online sector in countries such
as Spain, but also Italy, France and Germany could be due, among other things,
to the fact that online penetration of the entire gaming market
in these markets is still relatively low compared to other European countries.
In addition, the regulated sports betting market in Europe
is growing steadily.
In 2019, Europe had a channeling rate for the online gambling market of 73.5%, which means that almost three quarters of online gambling activity
was in the regulated market, while 26.5% of
the activity was in gray and black markets.
The share of online gaming in the regulated market
is expected to increase to 80.1% by 2022 and then decrease slightly to 79.6% by 2025 (source: EGBA).
Information on the effects of COVID19 on the European gaming industry,
as well as forecasts for the next few years, can be found in the following article: Sports
betting in the Corona crisis: A future outlook
Middle East & Northern Africa
Most of the time, casinos, sports betting, and online gambling
are illegal throughout the Middle East. Despite the applicable laws prohibiting Muslims
from gambling, Middle Eastern gamblers account for a significant proportion of global gambling industry revenues.
Interestingly, there is also a long history of gambling in Islamic
culture, as ancient civilizations such as the Assyrians had built a spectacular gambling industry in their golden age.
Bookmakers and auctioneers organized large shows and gambling events that attracted large crowds.
The modern bookkeeping and bookmaking industries of the region began and
developed during this time. The ancient civilization of Egypt already had
a lively gambling culture.
Nowadays, many Muslim majority countries have chosen to only offer
casino games to foreigners or non-Muslim visitors - players must present their
passports at the door to gain entry. In the Middle East, however, many people have dual citizenship and still gain access to casinos.
In addition, high tax rates and impractical regulatory
barriers often hamper the performance of these casinos.
In Egypt, for example, the roughly 14 casinos of Kairo generate gross gaming revenues (GGR) of over US $ 200
million annually - of which the casinos, however, have to
pay a gaming tax of 50% (GGR), which must be paid on a
Although the expansion of the casino industry is subject to strict Islamic laws,
most regions in the Middle East allow visiting foreign websites.
Because as long as foreign online casino operators are used,
less strict laws apply. For this reason, software
developers in the Middle East are increasingly licensing their games to overseas casinos with a strong online presence
that accept online players from the region. Especially the
citizens of Lebanon, Israel and Egypt as well as the United Arab Emirates are now offered online casinos that explicitly target their country.
Sports betting are enjoying great popularity in the Arab world only recently.
Soccer, camel races, formula and horse races are some of
the most popular sporting events, with soccer being
the most popular - among other things, because some of the best national soccer leagues and
teams in Asia are among the Arab nations and the regions of the Middle East.
The locals are enthusiastic about both local and
international sporting events and use well-known international online betting platforms to bet on their favorite teams.
However, these platforms only meet the wagering requirements of the Arab
population to a limited extent,
as translations into Arabic and regional languages are often missing.
As a betting provider, it is therefore important
to research the needs of this market in detail and to
adapt the betting experience specifically for the domestic market.
The legal framework for the individual countries can be found here, among other
The gambling industry in Africa is growing
steadily and, according to experts, has the potential to change the
African continent’s economy in the long term. Many leading iGaming providers see Africa as a lucrative region in which to expand.
Thanks to their economic dynamics and enthusiasm for online sports betting, countries such as South Africa, Nigeria and
Kenya offer numerous opportunities for investors.
In 2018, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa were estimated to hit $ 40 billion.
At the moment, sports betting in Africa mainly offers bets
on soccer and horse racing. In North Africa there is great
interest in horse racing, which dates back to the 15th century.
Africans have reportedly been betting on soccer for more than 70 years.
Most African players
have user accounts on international online betting platforms such as Betway, which operate internationally.
South Africa is the continent’s largest gambling
market. While the National Gambling Act of 2004,
which fundamentally bans all games of chance including
online casino, slot machines and card games, wagering on sports and horse racing are in physical or online venues
approved by one of the nine provincial licensing
authorities (PLAs) that only permitted form of gambling.
According to reports from the South
African government, more than half of South African adults regularly place sports bets.
Some predictions suggest that gross gaming revenue will surpass the
$ 2.3 billion mark by 2023.
Nigeria has by far the largest population and the largest
gross domestic product in Africa and, with a share
of 7% of the entire continent, is the largest
gaming market (measured by the GGR) in sub-Saharan Africa.
The gambling ban to which Nigeria was subjected was lifted in 2004,
opening the door to investment in the sector.
According to a 2014 survey, around 30% of Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 40 place sports bets on a daily basis: that’s a market of over
65 million players who
spend an average of around USD 15 on sports bets a day.
The steady growth of the sports betting industry in Africa can be attributed, among other things, to the
great passion for sport of the African population,
with football being the most popular sport on the continent.
Other sports that also receive a lot of attention from Africans are cricket, rugby, and running racing.
In addition, African youth are big fans of European leagues and other FIFA
events. Most players usually place their bets on the top European leagues such as EPL, La Liga,
Serie A and Bundesliga, with the EPL being probably the most popular league on the continent.
But other European tournaments such as the UEFA Champions League
and UEFA Europa League are also very popular.
The potential of the African sports betting industry is based
on its youthful population. According to statistics,
over 200 million Africans are between 18 and 24 years old.
This young generation has no problem with placing sports
betting mobile on their smartphone. In addition,
the high unemployment rates are another incentive to gamble online for a living.
An online or mobile first with an offer adapted to the preferences of the local population is therefore essential for betting providers
in the African region.
In Europe and Africa in particular, there has been a strong trend towards online gambling and
sports betting for a long time, which defines the strategy
of most betting companies. The cultural and socio-economic framework conditions in each market also speak in favor of future growth in the industry.
While the Middle
East still poses challenges due to the legal and cultural situation as well as the language requirements, the potential
of this market cannot be denied.
In part 2 of the article you will soon learn more about the markets
of Asia, the USA and South America!
Do you need more information about your target market?
The Arland experts
will be happy to advise you individually on your
my blog post :: sports betting
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