According to reported gaming revenue, the top five countries in the world where online gambling is legal – United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Italy, and France.
A recent study from a well-known gaming expert looked into the top-ranking countries in the world when it comes to online gambling activity and revenue. According to the research, the United States ranks second, giving the pole position to its neighbor across the pond.
The investigators looked at five revenue areas of online gambling to determine their rankings – online casino, poker, bingo, skill gaming, lottery, and sports & other betting.
Revenue numbers incorporated both non-regulated and regulated bets. These are the gross funds that online gambling operators rake in before they deduct payouts, operation costs, and taxes. The revenue data was pulled from H2 Gambling Capital and European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA).
According to the EGBA study, online casinos in Europe clearly ruled the roost in terms of revenue contribution (39%), closely trailed by sports and related betting (35%) like horse racing, dog racing, and e-sports. Online lotteries have lagged in recent years, but still account for nearly one-fifth (or, 18% to be precise) of total online gambling revenue. Poker, bingo, and skill gaming round out the podium with a combined market share of less than 10%.
While the whole European online gambling market raked in record revenue of €108,5 bn, the H2 Gambling Capital study showed that the UK is the world leader (and by far in terms of gross revenue). With revenues eclipsing $12,5 bn, the United Kingdom market beats out even the second-placed US ($11,2 bn).
Top 10 Online Gambling Markets in the World
That being said, the top 10 countries in the world for legalized online gambling (listed by revenue size)…
- UK – data quoted by Guardian Magazine indicate that the United Kingdom is the biggest market for regulated online gambling. The gap between the UK’s gross revenue ($12,5 bn) and that of the next country is massive. Sports and sports-related betting attract the most wagers in the UK. Online casino gaming has long been popular for UK residents. The UK Gambling Commission plays the arbitrator – establishing and keeping rigorous standards around this recreation activity. Gambling in Britain runs the gamut from casino games to betting on darts and football (soccer). Speaking of which, Brits love betting on their favorite soccer home teams, with outfits in the top-tier English Premier League (EPL) taking the center-stage. Manchester United, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, and Liverpool FC account for the biggest sportsbook handle every weekend. Britons also love wagering on local horse races – talk about Cheltenham Festival, Royal Ascot, and Boodles May Festival.
- US – Almost every state in the US has legalized online gambling, and it all started with New Jersey in 2013. Plus, the United States has the second-highest online gambling spending at $11,2 bn. New Jersey leads the pack in the US online gambling space, while Nevada (home of Las Vegas, aka Sin City) runs the show in terms of land-based gaming. The Garden State kicked off the online casino craze in the US, introducing Borgata Online Casino, BetMGM, and William Hill to people within its borders in conjunction with brick-and-mortar partners in Atlantic City.
- Australia – Aussies plunked down a whopping $6,5 bn at online gambling sites each year. That makes it the third largest online gambling market in the world. Most gambling sites that operate in Australia offer their gaming services to neighbors, the Kiwis, as well.
- Italy – Italians wagered roughly $4,5 bn on online gambling wagers, according to H2 Gaming.
- France – The French market has long been the poster-child for online gambling in Europe (of course, behind the United Kingdom). The revenue size makes it the fifth largest market in the world for legalized online gambling.
- Germany – Bundlesliga has put German football on the world map. That’s why it comes as no surprise that online sports betting is the biggest online recreational activity in Germany. Germans placed online wagers worth over $3,6 bn in 2021 alone.
- Canada – The US neighbor up-north has always been at the forefront of the online gambling sector. Well-known software providers and operators like Amaya and the Toronto-listed Stars Group call Canada home. It’s no wonder Canadians placed online bets worth $2,6 bn in 2021 alone.
- Sweden – The Swedish online gambling market reported revenues of $2,1 bn for 2021.
- Spain – Spaniards are such fervent fans of gambling that they could easily plunk down their savings. Millions of casino games and gaming activities have not been outlawed because gambling is legal in Spain and the government stands to gain 20% in tax revenue. Residents of Spain are able to place bets and play the games offered on their favorite legal online casino. Additionally, residents can visit brick-and-mortar gaming establishments where they can play without much restriction. The Spanish General Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling (Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego, or DGOJ) plays the role of establishing and maintaining strict standards around gambling in Spain.
- Greece – the Greek online gambling market is doing surprisingly well. That’s largely thanks to the Greek obsession with football and sports betting. Despite the size of the population and economy of Greece, citizens of the country placed online wagers worth close to $1 bn in 2021 alone.
● North Korea
● United Arab Emirates
There are many countries where online gambling is legal (listed alphabetically)…
1. Online Gambling in Austria
The good news is that online gambling in Austria is legal, but the market is heavily regulated. Austrian punters must place their wagers on state-run online casino web sites. A few websites that are not owned by the state can offer legal casino gambling thanks to concession they have with the government – still, all online casino games are regulated in the Austrian Lottery License. Thankfully, sports bettors in Austria can try their luck on local and overseas bookmakers – the state doesn’t enjoy a monopoly on this aspect of online gambling.
2. Online Gambling in Belgium
Gambling has long been popular and legal since 1851 in the Kingdom of Belgium. The country lawmakers revised the Gambling Act of 1999 in 2010. That essentially legalized online gambling in Belgium as of 2011. The Gaming Commission (GC or locally Kansspelcommissie) plays the role of crafting and enforcing rigorous standards around this online recreational activity.
Only Belgians older than 21 are allowed to access iGambling games, which are legally offered by online casino sites under Category B+ and A+ licenses – brick-and-mortar casinos already licensed in Belgium can offer online gaming services.
The 2019 amendment to the Gambling Act introduced a weekly deposit limit of €500 for all Belgians that indulge in online gambling. Moreover, the same revision banned use of credit cards at online casinos, which are also not allowed to offer bonuses to Belgian customers.
3. Online Gambling in the Czech Republic
All forms of regulated online gambling (except for mini cart lotteries and tombola) are legal in the Czech Republic, but they must be offered by casino sites in Czech language.
Czech residents can legally gamble at gambling sites hosted within the EU. Czech players younger than 18 are not permitted to access online casino games and they must adhere to a daily cash deposit limit of €210 (CZK 5,000).
4. Online Gambling in Denmark
Online gambling has long been popular and recently legal in Denmark. We’re talking daily fantasy sports, bingo, sports wagering, horse/dog racing, and online casino games. The Danish Gambling Authority is the regulator in charge of establishing and maintaining the rigorous standards around the activity.
5. Online Gambling in Estonia
The Eastern European country legalized online gambling in 2010 in the aftermath of the 2008-2009 world economic crisis. The services offered by online gambling operators in Estonia fall under five major umbrellas – lotteries, games of chance, totos (jackpot-esque gambling), remote gambling, and games of skill (think poker, baccarat, and the sorts).
No matter the categories, the EMTA plays the role of instituting the strict regulations surrounding this online recreational activity. Core online gambling laws – Lottery Act, Gambling Tax Act, and the Gambling Act.
6. Online Gambling in France
One of the poster-children of online gambling in the EU is France, which only trails the United Kingdom in terms of revenue and popularity. Unlike the UK with a highly regulated market, France has not legalized the whole range of online gambling – only poker is legal online for French players.
The revenue size of $3,8 bn makes it the fifth largest market in the world for legalized online gambling.
7. Online Gambling in Finland
In Suomi, the state has imposed a monopoly on all online casino games.
8. Online Gambling in Germany
As far online gambling goes, Germany is some sort of an outlier in Europe. It was not only July 2021 that the German government officially made online gambling legal. That’s all thanks to the coming into force of the GlüStV 2021 (German Interstate Treaty on Gambling). The new law put into place the guidelines that regulates and allows for legalization of online gambling across all 16 German states.
The United States has the second-highest online gambling spending at $11,2 bn. New Jersey leads the pack in the US online gambling space, while Nevada (home of Las Vegas, aka Sin City) runs the show in terms of land-based gaming. The Garden State kicked off the online casino craze in the US, introducing Borgata Online Casino, BetMGM, and William Hill to people within its borders in conjunction with brick-and-mortar partners in Atlantic City.
The United States has the upper hand in the gambling space thanks to its sheer size (rather than the share of gamblers in the population).
The US is home to roughly 7 out every 10 online gamblers worldwide. Dozens of states, including Florida, Mississippi, and Maryland, have just recently kicked off the procedure of enabling both online and land-based gambling within their borders.
Nonetheless, American citizens from states without registered online gaming portals are frequently permitted to place bets on overseas sites. It is justifiable why US gamblers plunk down more than $35 billion on an annual basis on casino gambling, which is undoubtedly going to soar.
In the United States, laws govern gambling at the federal level, but state and local governs have a say in this. In fact, most regulations that now permit legal online gambling in the US have been drafted and passed by their state legislators. The same bills are ratified and signed into law by state governors with the aim of cushioning their state coffers with more revenue.
At the same time, Indian tribal nations are given the authority by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 to run and control gambling within their territories. If casino gaming were to be outlawed by criminal law in the US, no federal agency or government policy would stop Native American Tribes from operating their gambling activities.
New Jersey leads the pack in the US online gambling space, while Nevada (home of Las Vegas, aka Sin City) runs the show in terms of land-based gaming. The Garden State kicked off the online casino craze in the US, introducing Borgata Online Casino, BetMGM, and William Hill to people within its borders in conjunction with brick-and-mortar partners in Atlantic City.
Well-known states in the US where gambling is legal – Nevada, New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Delaware, Michigan, New Hampshire, and New Mexico. Most sought-after gambling – NFL betting, basketball, baseball, and college football. Interested gamblers in most states must be 18 or older.
Online gambling in Britain runs the gamut from casino games to betting on darts and football (soccer). Speaking of which, Brits love betting on their favorite soccer home teams, with outfits in the top-tier English Premier League (EPL) taking the center-stage. Manchester United, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, and Liverpool FC account for the biggest sportsbook handle every weekend. Britons also love wagering on local horse races – talk about Cheltenham Festival, Royal Ascot, and Boodles May Festival.
Well-known gambling sites in the United Kingdom (aka UKGC-regulated players) – Bet365, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Unibet, 888, and Betfair. In addition to that, the United Kingdom gambling market boasts well over 8300 physical betting shops.
The Swedish Gambling Authority is responsible for enacting and enforcing the restrictive standards in the gambling industry in Sweden. The Swedish Gambling Act, which legalized online gambling took effect on January 1, 2019.
Australia has a quite sizable online gambling market, far larger than its island neighbor, New Zealand. Aussies who want to gamble can thank their government for rigorous and top-notch safety protocols that allow only trustworthy gambling platforms on the market. It is one of those jurisdictions that permit legal gambling in mostly physical casinos – Crowns Casinos is unquestionably Aussie’s crown jewel.
The Kiwi gambling market is pretty much a carbon copy of Australia. However, only gambling operators which are both locally regulated and licensed can offer gaming services to Kiwis. Online casino gaming has long been a favorite for Kiwis, as well. The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs is tasked with establishing and enforcing rigorous standards centered on gambling on the island. When it comes to regulation, Australia takes a rather different approach, allowing the central government and territories to enact and maintain gambling laws.
Gambling is legal in a number of countries around the world, including:
● The United States
● The UK
● Australia and New Zealand
● The EU bloc