The online gambling industry has gone from strength to strength in recent years, with the latest statistics predicting the sector will be worth a staggering $92.9 billion by 2023. That’s come due to a general transition away from land-based casinos towards the convenience of online entities, as well as greater gameplay and choice online and relaxed legislation in some parts of the globe.
When it comes to online casinos, there are generally two major players in the market: Europe and North America. The former has traditionally been the trendsetter for the gambling sector, in both an online and offline context. However, North America has been making inroads into that dominance, with both Canada and the USA reinventing themselves as serious contenders going forwards. What does the future hold for this cross-continental battle?
Europe in pole position
Europe has been the leader when it comes to online gambling for many years now, with a 41% share of the market in 2019. That’s thanks in large part due to the UK, whose government have taken a favorable view of the industry for some time. Not only does it outperform the competition in terms of sports betting (the sector’s largest contributing factor), but also with its proliferation of online casinos.
Not to say that the rest of the continent isn’t pulling its weight. Recent legalizations of the practice in France, Italy and Spain, as well as imminent legislation allowing online casinos in Germany, mean that the UK has plenty of intercontinental competition for its status as top dog in Europe. Meanwhile, a robust presence in Ireland, Finland and Norway means that the future still looks bright for the current champions of the online gambling world.
Canada upsetting the status quo
Having said that, European dominance of the sector is not guaranteed going forwards. Although the idea of casinos and gambling might conjure images of Las Vegas in the States, it’s actually the US’s northern neighbor Canada who are showing greater performance. The rise of popular casino sites such as Wildz Casino Canada, with their extensive range of games and engaging gameplay, have enticed plenty of Canadians to try their luck online.
Indeed, these new innovations are proving to be especially popular with younger generations. Over half of millennials interviewed in a recent survey reported that they spent money on gambling every month, which has helped Canada to garner an impressive $24 billion in revenue in 2019. That’s significantly more than the UK, despite having tighter laws and a smaller population.
USA a new contender
While the US lags far behind its northern counterpart in the online casino stakes, it is making strides to catch up. The main reason why the USA has been sluggish in this respect is the fragmented nature of its legislation. Although online gambling is legal according to federal law, a majority of states still prohibit the practice. At the time of writing, just 11 states had made the practice entirely legal, with several others restricting it severely and many more banning it outright.
However, it does seem to be clear which way the wind is blowing. Significant relaxations of the law have occurred within the past decade and more are expected to follow, meaning it’s likely that an increasing number of states will allow the practice in the years to come. If the popularity of gambling meccas like Las Vegas and Atlantic City are anything to go by, the US could go from rank outsider to market leader in no time at all.