The COVID-19 situation in Europe is getting worse directly affecting land-based casinos and bookmakers. At the same time, online gambling providers are experiencing accelerating growth in both traffic volumes and revenue.
Online gambling revenue to grow steadily
Europe’s total gambling revenue is set to drop by almost a quarter in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Europe’s online gambling revenue, in its turn, is expected to increase by 7%!
Data published by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) in partnership with H2 Gambling Capital suggests the gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the UK and EU countries will fall by 23%, from €98.6bn in 2019 to €75.9bn in 2020.
At the same time, Europe’s online gambling revenue will probably increase by 7% this year, from €24.5bn in 2019 to €26.3bn in 2020. Looking ahead, the growth of Europe’s online gambling market is expected to continue, with online GGR expected to grow approximately 7% yearly and account for more than 33% of Europe’s total gambling revenue by 2025.
The study also suggests play via mobile will account for 45.6% of Europe’s online gambling revenue in 2020 and reach 50.8% by 2022, surpassing the use of desktop for the first time. This trend is expected to continue, with mobile gambling projected to reach a 58.2% share in 2025.
The secretary general of EGBA says the growth trend of Europe’s online gambling continues to be strong. There is still lots of room for growth in markets like France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, where the online penetration of the total gambling market is still relatively low compared to other European countries.
Gambling and betting black market to grow in 2021
The UK Gambling Commission has reported a significant growth in the online gambling market. Figures for November showed that gambling yield in the UK was up by 29% month-on-month. Revenue in the month was £524 million, driven mainly by the strong performance of the sports betting sector. Sports betting revenue from operators made up 80% of the whole gambling market in the UK.
Additionally, there were increases in both the number of active online players, up by 7%, and the number of bets, by 12%. During periods when legal ground-based establishments are closed and players have to stay at home, a rise in traffic volumes on websites of unlicensed operators can be expected.
A PricewaterhouseCoopers report revealed that 200,000 customers used an unlicensed gambling operator over a 12 month period between 2018 and 2019, and a total of 9% of all gambling search results were for black market websites. Unregulated operators accounted for 2.5% of all visits to betting websites, which amounted to 27 million visits in total, with customers staking around £2.4bn.