A look at the world’s largest online gambling markets

The global igaming market is a force that is becoming too large to ignore. In 2021, the sector was worth approximately $60 billion, a figure that is expected to reach around $150 billion by 2030 at a compound annual growth rate of more than 11 percent. Much of that growth will come from North America, as the USA and Canada continue to push through legal reforms. However, the sector is truly global and some of the most prominent igaming hotspots might come as a surprise.  


No surprises here. Not so long ago, gambling was limited to a handful of locations like Reno, Las Vegas and Atlantic City. The growth of online casinos, combined with changes to federal sports betting law in 2018, have prompted state after state to reform their overall gambling laws and introduce regulated online gambling. Today, more than 30 states have legalized online sports betting. Only six have extended this to online casino gaming, but we can expect both of these numbers to grow over the coming years. For example, both Illinois and Indiana are expected to legalize online casinos in 2023. 


Canadians tend to have a more relaxed “European style” attitude towards gambling than their neighbors. There are dozens of online casinos that serve the Canadian market and Gamble Online Canada provides useful and impartial information on the kinds of games they have, the casino bonuses on offer and so on. Until recently, these were all based offshore, but this year Ontario and Nova Scotia both started issuing licenses for domestic online casino providers. 


Often considered the home of gambling, some of the most famous casino and sports betting brands originate in the UK. Furthermore, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is one of the most respected licensing bodies. Many savvy operators choose to base their businesses on British dependency the Isle of Man, which has all the benefits of the UK but much lower tax rates.  


If the established gambling brands originate from the UK, it is safe to say that most of the more recent arrivals are of Swedish origin. Betsson and LeoVegas are just a couple of examples. The nation has a passion for both gambling and for tech innovation. It’s a combination that has seen Sweden become a pioneer in the online casino sector.  


If you thought Malta was only about tourism and fishing, think again. Like the Isle of Man, the island nation has become a magnet for gambling businesses. As well as the favorable tax rates, there is a superb technological infrastructure and a wonderful climate. The Malta Gaming Authority is now a licensing body that has almost the same global kudos as the UKGC. 


The largest economy in Europe was a little late to the game where online gambling is concerned. However, it is making up for lost time and enacted new regulations last year to open up the market. These are somewhat constrained by some strict rules regarding maximum wagers and the like, so expect to see further reforms over the coming year or two as the industry matures.   

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