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Mobile Betting and Gambling on the Rise in the EU

- March 29, 2017 By Oliver Young -

The UK is still the largest player on the EU gambling market.

Most Europeans gamble and bet on their mobile devices.

Recognised and trusted research group Eliers and Krejick just publish the latest report on mobile betting and casino gambling in Europe for 2016. The report also highlights the opportunities for growth in 2017.

It seems that the trend in general is positive and that the market is growing, despite the decisions of certain European countries, such as Poland, to introduce new and restrictive regulations which forced some of operators to leave that national market. One of the key trends in the past year is the growth of mobile betting and gambling which now is an even greater share of the overall market.

Mobile Now Dominant Channel

Mobile betting and gambling is steadily becoming the norm in Europe. The report shows that with certain operators mobile now accounts for over 70% of the total gaming revenues. By comparison in 2015 mobile was only 45% of the share. The percentage of contribution of mobile in the total revenue for sports betting was 60% in 2015, whereas for casino gaming that figure was as low as 36%.

More than 80% of Sky Bet’s revenues in 2016 came through the mobile channel, the figure for Ladbrokes was 78%, whereas Paddy Power followed closely with 76%. By comparison, the figures for casino gambling operators are somewhat lower. The mobile revenues of Leo Vegas are close to 70%, the figure for Unibet is 64%, whereas the percentage of mobile revenues of 888’s UK branch is just below 60%. The report also shows that mobile betting and gambling isn’t equally popular in all EU markets.

Smartphone and tablet penetration, the affordability of high-quality mobile devices and the quality of mobile internet are the factors that contribute most towards the popularity of mobile betting and gambling.

The UK leads the way when it comes to mobile and the total revenues in this country are close to 80%, but there is still a lot of room for improvement in countries like Spain and Italy. The report also shows that the younger generation now leads the way and they have replaced the baby boomers as the largest industry spenders. That age shift explains the increased popularity of mobile betting and gambling.

Live Dealer Revenues Growing Steadily

The rising popularity of live dealer games is another notable trend. The leading providers have introduced novelties and improved features in their dealer games, especially for mobile devices. The live dealer market exceeded €1.5 billion in 2016, and it is expected to reach €1.6 billion in 2017. By January 2020 it will exceed €1.9 billion.

The country-by-country analysis shows that the UK is still the largest individual market within the EU, with Germany following closely. UK operators place an accent on advertising and there is an ongoing debate in the country regarding the scope and the role of gambling advertising. There is still a lot of work to be done in Germany regarding legislation. The country went on to introduce sports betting licencing in 2012, but online sports betting revenue is still rather low, only 36% of the total betting revenue.

There are a lot of emerging markets within the EU, most notably the Czech Republic and in the past few months a lot of operators have announced that they are entering the Czech market.

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