How Big Is the European Online Gambling Industry?

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Compared to the early days of the internet, when online gambling was significantly more challenging, the landscape has undergone remarkable evolution. Technological advancements have propelled numerous innovative companies to develop captivating games across various verticals, notably in the realm of slots. Moreover, the sports betting arena has expanded significantly, offering a plethora of intriguing markets.

Given the vast expanse of the continent, gaining an overview of Europe’s online gambling market can be daunting. However, fret not, as we’re here to provide you with comprehensive insights today.

Continue reading to uncover the true magnitude of the European online gambling market. Explore which countries boast the largest industries and grasp the immense potential of this dynamic space. Without further delay, let’s delve into it.

Where in Europe Is Online Gambling Permitted?

Before delving into the dimensions of the European online gambling sector, it’s prudent to highlight where on the continent you can legally engage in wagering activities via your computer, smartphone, or tablet.

The vast majority of European countries have provisions for some form of online gambling. This is evident in the formation of the European Betting and Gaming Association (EBGA), which represents over 20 nations. Additionally, countries outside the EBGA, such as Switzerland and Ukraine, also allow legal online gambling.

It’s worth noting that while many European countries permit commercial online gambling, others, like Norway and Finland, operate under a monopoly system. Meanwhile, Poland, Slovenia, Austria, and Hungary offer a combination of commercial licenses and online gambling monopolies.

Regulatory Framework for Online Gambling in Europe

Each European country establishes its own set of gambling laws, irrespective of its EU/EEA membership status. Consequently, regulatory frameworks vary significantly across nations, leading to complexities in legislation. For instance, prior to recent regulatory changes in Germany, online casino gambling was restricted to the state of Schleswig-Holstein.

Despite the decentralized nature of gambling regulations, there is a degree of collaboration among many European nations. The EBGA, previously mentioned, serves as a platform for providing operational guidelines in multiple countries. Furthermore, the UK maintains its affiliation with the EBGA, despite its departure from the EU.

An Overview of the European Online Gambling Landscape

When assessing the scale of the online gambling industry in Europe, it’s important to acknowledge the challenge of gauging the size of markets across over 40 countries. Nonetheless, certain indicators underscore the popularity of these games. To facilitate comprehension, we’ll first discuss the European gambling market in its entirety before exploring individual markets in greater detail.


How Big is the European Online Gambling Sector?

As per Statista’s data, the European online gambling market reached a value of $38.59 billion in the calendar year 2022. This comprehensive figure encompasses revenues from online casinos, sports betting, and lottery gaming. Notably, online casinos dominated the revenue stream, amassing $17.42 billion during this period.

However, online sports wagering was not far behind, with operators across the continent generating $13.76 billion in 2022. Online lottery games, though relatively smaller in comparison, still contributed significantly, accruing $7.41 billion in revenue for the same period.

Over the past six years, the revenue generated by online gambling in Europe has witnessed a remarkable surge. In 2017, online gambling companies amassed a total of $9.7 billion, with online sports betting accounting for $7.49 billion of this sum. Meanwhile, online lottery games garnered $3.93 billion in revenue during the same period.

It’s important to note that while online betting holds a considerable share in Europe’s gambling landscape, it remains dwarfed by the magnitude of land-based gambling activities on the continent. According to data from the European Betting and Gaming Association (EBGA), the gross gaming revenue (GGR) for land-based wagering in the EU and UK totaled €70.3 billion in 2022.

Identifying the Pinnacle Markets

Europe boasts two of the world’s five largest betting markets, a fact that significantly contributes to its robust online gambling revenue. Let’s delve deeper into some of the most significant hubs for online gambling activity across the continent.


The United Kingdom

As Europe’s largest online gambling market, the United Kingdom boasts impressive figures in the realm of online wagering. According to data from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), gross online gambling revenue reached £6.4 billion during the tax year spanning from April 2021 to April 2022. This sum constituted a significant portion of the overall revenue landscape, which totaled £14.1 billion when considering both online and offline betting activities.

The UK demonstrates high levels of gambling participation, with 44% of the adult population engaging in some form of monetary gaming, as reported by the UKGC. The market is renowned for its robust regulatory framework, with a total of 2,419 gambling operators operating within its jurisdiction.

Of the £6.4 billion online gambling revenue recorded in the 2021-2022 financial year, online casino games dominated the market, capturing over half of the market share. These games contributed £3.9 billion in total revenue, with slot games alone accounting for a substantial portion of £3 billion.

Given the UK’s passion for sports, it’s no surprise that sports wagering also enjoys popularity among the populace. This segment generated £2.4 billion in revenue, with a significant portion derived from soccer bets (£1.1 billion). Additionally, remote bingo contributed £183.5 million to the overall revenue picture.


In Italy, while land-based betting remains prevalent, online wagering has gained traction among the population. According to data from the ADM published by iGaming Business, the country’s annual gross gaming revenue (GGR) exceeded €3.3 billion by the end of 2022.

It’s noteworthy that these statistics only account for legal online gambling activities, as Italy also harbors a substantial unregulated gambling market. Although data on these activities are challenging to ascertain, it’s plausible that the official figures would be substantially higher if unregulated games were factored in.


Despite its historically intricate gambling regulations, Germany plays a pivotal role in the European online gambling arena. As projected by Statista, the EU’s most populous country is anticipated to generate €4.8 billion in online gambling revenue by the conclusion of 2023, representing a notable 12.3% annual increase compared to 2022.

A significant portion of Germany’s projected online gambling revenue stems from sports betting. According to Statista, this vertical is expected to grow to €1.79 billion in gross gaming revenue by the year’s end.

Germany recently underwent a significant regulatory overhaul, opening doors for more online casino operators in the country. While online sports wagering was previously legal, the regulatory transition now permits online casino gaming beyond the confines of Schleswig-Holstein. This regulatory shift aims to mitigate the influence of unregulated casino operators within Germany’s borders.


Player Trends in European Online Gambling

Now that we’ve explored some of the prominent players in the European online gambling arena, let’s delve into player preferences and behaviors, including their favored gaming choices and preferred devices for placing wagers.

According to data from the European Betting and Gaming Association (EBGA), a slight majority of online gamblers in the EU and UK preferred wagering from mobile devices in 2021. However, the variance was minimal, with 51% opting for mobile platforms and 49% favoring desktop betting instead.

So, where exactly are players directing their spending?

Statistics from the same year indicate that online casino operators in these regions collectively generated €13.6 billion in online casino revenue, making it the most popular vertical. However, it was closely followed by sports betting and horse racing, which combined for €12.9 billion in revenue.

Online lottery games also maintained popularity throughout the EU and UK in 2021, generating €6.7 billion in revenue overall. Additionally, poker contributed €1.5 billion to the gaming landscape, while bingo and skill-based games collectively accounted for €1.5 billion.

In terms of market share percentages, sports betting held 35%, while online casinos claimed 39%.

The Potential of the European Online Gambling Industry

Despite the European betting market’s already mature state, there remains significant room for growth in the online sector. Although online gambling constitutes a substantial portion of the industry, it still falls short of dominating the market in most countries, with Sweden being a notable exception where online gambling comprises over half of total industry revenue.

Looking ahead, the EBGA projects that online gambling will likely continue to narrow the gap with land-based betting in the coming years. By the end of 2027, the association anticipates that online betting in the EU and UK will generate €54.3 billion in revenue, while land-based gambling is projected to reach around €79.7 billion during the same period.

Several factors could influence these projections. Stricter regulations on gambling-related advertising in many European countries could potentially reduce player participation. Moreover, the prospect of regulatory changes, including the potential for more countries to embrace legal online gambling or reform existing monopolistic systems, remains uncertain.


Is Gambling Significant in Europe?

Gambling holds substantial prominence across various European countries, including the UK, France, Germany, and Italy. The collective gambling activities within the 27 EU member states and the UK yield billions in annual revenue, both through online and offline channels.

What is the Scale of the Online Gambling Market?

The precise scale of the global online gambling market is challenging to ascertain due to several factors, including unrecorded illegal gambling activities. However, as of 2023, the global online gambling market exceeds $100 billion in value.

Which Country Hosts the Largest Online Gambling Market?

The United States stands as the largest online regulated gambling market globally, closely trailed by the United Kingdom.

Keeley Francis, with an eclectic and impressive background that spans continents and disciplines, has established herself as a unique voice in the world of business and beyond. With her roots in Seattle, her academic journey took her from the esteemed halls of Cambridge University to the innovative spaces of the University of Tokyo's Bangladesh Office, not to mention her studies in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne and her time at Loyola University Chicago. Her professional path is equally distinguished, featuring roles at Seattle Aquarium in business management and a creative position at The Museum of Flight. Currently residing in Seattle Heights, Washington, Keeley's diverse experiences and single status shape her insightful perspectives, making her contributions to discussions on business, culture, and philosophy deeply compelling and richly informed.