North America, especially the USA, has witnessed rapid growth in the iGaming market. From conventional brick-and-mortar gambling entertainment to online casinos and iGaming in general, the gambling industry in North America seems quite healthy.
On the other hand, European states have also had a long history of gambling activities in sports events and casinos. The horseracing gambling market in the UK, for instance, has been operational since the 17th century. Since the advent of the internet, online gambling has taken dominance over its traditional equivalent.
Both the European and North American iGaming markets have evolved a great deal, thanks to technological advancements. This blog post seeks to display a detailed comparison of the two online gambling markets.
A Brief Overview of Online Gambling
According to statistics, 1.6 billion individuals, about 26% of the global population, were grouped as regular gamblers in 2019. The number has been rising as more and more people turn to online gambling sites for casino games and sports betting odds.
The rapid growth of the gambling industry is largely attributed to the innovations within the online gambling niche. Since the introduction of the internet and the migration from land-based gambling establishments to online sites, internet gambling has advanced to unprecedented levels.
Recent projections anticipate that the global internet betting market will be worth circa $92.9 billion by 2023. This is happening as more brick-and-mortar casinos, and sportsbooks digitize their operations to embrace the convenience offered by online gambling options like casinos online Canada.
iGaming is gaining traction due to its convenience and the loose nature of legislation governing the young market. Lawmakers are yet to catch up with this young but extremely dynamic industry.
The Place of Online Casinos in Europe and North America
Europe is considered the cradle of the gambling industry for both offline and online options. That notwithstanding, North America has also made significant strides in iGaming, especially in Canada and the United States of America.
This begs the question, what should we expect from these cross-continental competition in the online gambling markets? Since the USA is home to Las Vegas and a host of other urban gambling communities, many believe that it is more likely to lead in the global market.
However, we should understand that the internet knows no jurisdictional or geographical borders. Online casinos and sportsbooks have proved this by penetrating even states that have outlawed gambling altogether.
Today, anyone can access any online casino from anywhere in the world. Those in jurisdictions with stringent regulations often take advantage of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to access online casinos overseas.
That being the case, Online casino operators have found ripe markets in both European and North American states.
Comparing iGaming Revenues
One of the best ways to compare the two iGaming industries is by assessing their respective market capitalization. A 2018 European study revealed that EU counties reported an average yearly iGaming income of $34.5 billion.
North America (the USA and Canada combined) reported a lower figure of $31.4 billion in iGaming revenue the same year. The North American online betting spread stood at $54.23, while Europe’s was significantly higher at $72.33.
This essentially means that the European online betting market is bigger than its North American equivalent, despite the latter having a larger population than the former.
However, the USA online gambling market is booming, especially following the federal government’s legalization of sports betting. Between 2017 and 2019, the country’s iGaming revenue surged significantly, with online casino betting income shifting from $247.5 million to $306.5 million.
iGaming Legislation Comparison
The two markets have different online betting regulatory frameworks. Legislations play a vital role in determining the growth of online gambling markets across the world.
The United States of America
Though we have already established that the USA market is no match to the European competitor, it is gradually making progress to boost its online gambling industry. One of the major reasons the US online betting market lagged behind was its stringent legal framework.
With the federal government legalizing online sports betting, state governments have followed suit, with the number of states with iGaming-friendly laws growing by the day. As of this writing, over a dozen US states have already legalized online sport betting.
The US Supreme Court outlawed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 in 2018, renouncing the federal government’s prohibition of sports betting. However, some states remain adamant about changing their laws to reflect the federal position.
The DOJ recently inferred that the Wire Act, 1961, stretches out to cover online wagering in the US. This has the effect of restricting states to offer online betting services to resident occupants only.
While there lacks federal legislation prohibiting online gambling, states have the discretion to either sanction the activity or not – most choose not to. This means that American gamblers will not get arrested for engaging in online gambling activities.
Europe Online Gambling Market
Europe continues to lead in the global iGaming industry, with a market capitalization of well over 41% as of 2019. This is largely so because the UK is quite accommodative, with friendly and lenient iGaming laws.
Though all EU countries are independent in passing their gambling legislation, there is no single law that expressly outlaws online gambling in the European Union. Most countries allow regulated online gambling, probably due to the significant revenue drawn from the market.
The major players in the European iGaming market include France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Europe Vs. USA
From the comparison presented above, it is clear that the European iGaming market is doing fairly better than the North American industry. However, Canada and the USA are positioning themselves to take up a larger market share in the iGaming space.
With more people moving from land-based gambling establishments to the online alternative, the two markets are set to witness significant growth. The US market is also set for rapid growth, thanks to the federal legalization of sports betting.
If you are looking to invest in the iGaming space, both markets present great opportunities that you can take advantage of. They are both friendly for investors and gamblers alike.