Study: online gambling goes mainstream
New data from Juniper Research has found that more than 1 in 10 adults worldwide will engage in some form of mobile or online gambling by 2019, with the UK and Italy seeing nearly half of adults involved on the activity by that time.
The research claimed that while in large part this will be the result of migration from traditional lottery purchase to mobile channels, growth will also be fuelled by increasing liberalisation of online markets across Europe and the US, driving usage of casino and sportsbook services.
According to the research – Mobile & Online Gambling: Casinos, Lotteries & Betting 2015-2020 – several companies operating licensed services in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey have seen a dramatic uplift in revenues over the past 2 years.
It noted that while the land-based casino lobby and social conservatives continue to oppose legalisation in many states, offshore sites which still accept US bets – such as TopBet and Bovada – continue to experience high levels of traffic. Hence, it claimed that from a pragmatic perspective, more states would seek to legalise intrastate online gambling for the purpose of generating tax revenues.
Meanwhile, implementation of the latest EU directive on AML (Anti-Money Laundering) is expected to lead to greater harmonisation of national gambling policies, the research cautioned that continuing uncertainty over complex licensing procedures in several markets had resulted in the exits of key operators.
As research co-author Dr Windsor Holden observed, “Playtech and Mansion both pulled out of Germany earlier this year, while the new tax rates on sports betting in Portugal has led to William Hill exiting that market. The introduction of prohibitive taxation rates will simply lead to an exodus of major players with customers switching to unlicensed operators.”