European gambling: what is the future of online gambling?

Publication date: 21 Jan 2022

As in many other sectors, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a decline in revenues in Europe’s gambling sector in 2020 and 2021, but has accelerated the previous online growth trend.

The European Gambling and Betting Association (EGBA), in partnership with H2 Gambling Capital, has presented a new report concerning the outgoing year and projections for the future.

  • All figures may be adjusted due to rounding.
  • The information presented only takes into account the online gambling markets in the EU-27 and the UK.
  • The projections include EBITDA (E), which is an indicator of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

How much money did people make from gambling?

According to experts, in 2021, the total revenue of the European gambling market is 87.2 billion euros of gross revenue. This is 13% less than before the pandemic in 2019, but still an increase of 7.5% compared to 2020 levels.

It is expected that online gambling revenues in Europe in 2021 will reach €36.4 billion (41.7% of total gambling revenues). This is more than 19% compared to 2020 levels.

Land-based gambling revenues will increase slightly to €50.8 billion (58.3% of total gambling revenues), up 0.4% from 2020 levels. This is due to the restriction of offline activities during the pandemic.

What happens to regulation in the online gambling market?

Regulated online gambling is growing steadily.

In 2021, the online market in Europe will reach 82.7% of the domestic market. This means that the operation of gambling sites or applications will take place in the country in which they are licensed. And only 17.3% of online gambling activity will come from the offshore market.

EGBA believes that the main growth expectations for the European gambling market in 2021 are related to the regulation of gambling and betting in the Netherlands.

Sports betting and other types of betting are the most popular

online gambling products in Europe. They are expected to be worth €14.64bn – around 40% of gross online gambling revenue in Europe in 2021.

  • Meanwhile, betting on horse racing will be worth €4.88 billion (13% of total) of gross online gambling revenue.
  • At the same time, sports betting (football and other “traditional types of betting” and betting on various events will be 9,76 billion euros (27% of the total).



Online gambling is becoming mobile. In 2021, for the first time, the share of online betting from mobile devices (phones and tablets) in Europe will be 50.5%.  The overall shift towards mobile betting is expected to be 61.5% of all online betting by 2026.

What is happening with gambling in different European countries?

There are significant differences in the online shares of national gambling markets. In 2020, Sweden was the European country with the highest share (66.2%) of online gambling. It was followed by Denmark (59.4%), the UK (59.3%), Finland (58.5%) and Romania (56.7%). Notably, many of the countries with large overall gambling markets by revenue (such as Germany, France, Italy and Spain) had a relatively smaller share of online markets in their gambling markets.

Significant differences are also observed in the shares of online gambling products in different countries. For example, Cyprus has a ban on online casinos and poker, but both products together account for 24% of the country’s gross gambling revenue (all of which are offshore). France has a ban on online casinos, but online casinos account for 16% of the country’s gross gambling revenue (all of which are offshore).

What can be expected from gambling in 2022: Analysts’ predictions

Around 26% of the world’s population is currently involved in sports betting. At the same time, there has been phenomenal growth in the online gambling sector, according to experts from Prima Games.

Overall gambling trends in 2022:

  • Cryptocurrencies are “taking over” the gambling industry: high levels of security, anonymity and technological capabilities are pushing more and more operators to integrate “new money” as a betting payment method; 
  • Due to severe restrictions or bans on gambling advertising in different states, marketers are forced to develop new tools and formats: from partnerships and attracting ambassadors to showing ads on social networks. For example, streaming services (and similar resources), which are difficult for authorities to reach with regulation, offer enormous opportunities. As a result, the effect of proposed advertising is only increasing.
  • In 2022, more and more countries will be involved in the legalisation of gambling business. This is because governments are beginning to realise the huge losses that underground gambling is costing their budgets. As a result, it is understood that regulation is the only effective way to combat underground gambling. 
  • Popularisation of virtual gambling: the emergence of VR and AR games has significantly increased the audience of gambling by people who are primarily interested in technology and innovation.  
  • Bonuses for players will become more generous: in light of the huge competition, bookmakers and casinos will fight for players by offering them more interesting and generous bonus systems. 

 Experts believe that in 2022 the gambling industry will show its best side and achieve new success. First of all, thanks to high technology, better service and security from the government!

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