The Biggest iGaming Markets in the World

In recent decades, iGaming (online gaming, digital gaming, online casino gaming) has become one of the most popular activities online. According to research, the online gambling industry is expected to reach a worth of $700 billion this year. Online casino games are very popular and played worldwide, but there are some markets which are especially keen on online gaming. However, there are many legal intricacies concerning each market. The national governments generally have a very strong say in the way online casinos within the country operate, if they are even legal. But, every market is different and has great potential, the evidence for which we can find in numbers. In this article, you can read an overview of the top 5 online gaming markets in the world.

China Online Gaming Market

Gambling in China is government-controlled and Welfare and Sports Lottery and the only option of legal gambling. All other forms of gaming and gambling have been banned all the way in 1949. Nevertheless, Chinese people love to gamble! Maybe it’s a case of “forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest. Online gambling sites are another story, though. Up until 2017, online casino sites were free to operate in China even though they were breaking the law. Then, the Chinese government threatened to enforce the non-gambling law to all sites. The enforcement of these new rules is yet to be seen. China is one of the biggest iGaming markets in the world, with an estimation of $29 billion of industry’s worth in 2018. The figures that show the number of engaged online gamblers in China is also astounding. Data from 2014 shows that in China there was in total about 650 mil. Internet users. A whopping 366 million Chinese people were active or in any way engaged in online gaming in the same year.

Japan Online Gaming Market

Japan is also a very interesting and big online gaming industry. Similarly to China, gambling is generally banned by the government, with some exceptions such as horse racing, pachinko, and lottery. Casinos are currently illegal, but Japan is hoping to change this by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, starting with a new law from 2017. that will change the country’s stance against casinos. Given that gambling has only recently been legalized in Japan, we can expect to see a substantial growth of the gambling industry in this country.

UK Online Gaming Market

Generally speaking, British people are one of the biggest gambling nations in the world. Gambling was never banned in the UK, but a real game-changer was a law passed in 2007 which allowed TV commercials for online gambling, sports betting and poker. The British gamble on almost everything. An unbelievable number of 70% of British people play the weekly lottery! However, nothing comes even close to football (soccer). Football generated over $1.7 billion in just one year’s time, out of the total revenue of $4 billion of gambling in general, which really speaks volumes about the popularity of gambling on football in the UK. A big portion of industry’s revenue goes on online gambling for real money. Some of the best real money casinos in the UK are: Casumo, Dunder, Rizk, Genesis, 888Casino. Fun Fact: An average British household spends over $200 annually on gambling.

USA Online Gaming Market

Gambling in the US is highly government-regulated. There are government-operated lotteries in 45 states of the US, low-stakes game rooms in bigger cities, and tribal casinos, and that's about it. We all know that Las Vegas is the capital of gambling, however, it's counterintuitive that the same country forbids most forms of online gambling. But, the problem isn't in gambling in betting itself, but in making payments on online casinos. The most popular thing to bet on for Americans is the Super Bowl. They bet almost $4 billion on the 2017 Super Bowl legally. Illegally, through offshore online betting sites, they wagered close to that amount: almost $3.8 billion.

Germany Online Gaming Market

The German gaming market is huge, but the bureaucracy and legislation surrounding gambling and gaming are very complicated and sensitive as well. Online casinos are banned in Germany. However, there are legal workarounds for online lottery providers and certain online sports betting sites. The most popular sport in Germany is football, and they wager more on football than on anything else. As for the revenue of the gambling industry in Germany, it's basically a rollercoaster. In 2015, the total revenue was about $3.2 billion. The revenue from gambling was steadily falling in the period from 2010 to 2014 when it finally started picking up and growing. However, there are workarounds for Germany's gambling legislation. Although online gambling is banned, companies that are based outside of Germany can accept bets and payments from Germans. This is why Germans resort to off-shore gambling operators.


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Last Updated: Dec 04, 2018

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