2021 Sees Rise in Online Gambling

2021 Sees Rise in Online Gambling

The pandemic continues to hit gambling revenue in the EU and UK. Figures released show that revenue has increased but is 13% below figures for 2019 in a pre-pandemic world. It’s good news for online gambling with revenue rising, especially when it comes to the use of mobile devices.

The figures come in a report that has been released by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) and H2 Gambling Capital. It’s not all bad news though as total market revenue has increased by 7.5% compared to that recorded in 2020.

Like most economies, gambling figures are recovering but not yet reaching pre-pandemic levels. The revenue has reached €87.2 billion and one reason it has increased is online gambling. That’s seen a 19% growth for the UK and EU combined.

It’s the lockdowns that have been in place that are behind the good and bad results. 2020 saw betting shops and casinos being closed. 2021 hasn’t been quite so bad but there are still lockdowns being imposed in the UK and particularly on the European mainland. With the shops/casinos closed, more people have been going online to place their bets.

When the shops are open, that doesn’t mean the end of the problem. Many venues have had strict entry and capacity guidelines placed on them. This has continued to hit their revenue figures. With restrictions in place, many still feel more comfortable and safer continuing to gamble online.

The online market is expected to continue to grow in the coming years.

The released data shows that online gross gambling revenue (GGR) will hit €36.4 this year. It’s not all bad news for land based GGR. That figure is expected to be €50.8 billion, a rise of 0.4%. Compared to 2019 figures when there was no pandemic, it’s a drop of 32% in GGR.

Online market GGR is expected to grow by around 9% each year. If that is the case then in 2026, online gambling revenue will be 41% of the total gambling revenue in Europe and a 26% increase since 2019.

2021 has also been a good year for the use of mobile devices to place bets. 50.5% of all online bets are now made either by using a smartphone or tablet. This marks the first time that the majority of online bets have been made in this way. The increase in mobile use is expected to continue and by 2026 reach 61.5%.

Maarten Haijer is the Secretary General of the EGBA. Commenting on the report, he said that it illustrates the continuation of the “growth trend of Europe’s online gambling market.” He believes that although this is the case, there is still “significant room for online development” in several European countries. This includes Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. Online play is “still relatively low” in those countries.

He added that there is still the need to “ensure the online market is well-regulated and operators continue to utilize the latest online technologies to promote a stronger culture of safer gambling.”