UK Leads European Online Gaming Markets

The online gambling market is growing in Europe and currently the UK has the largest online gaming market. Gaming research firm H2 Gambling Capital said that figures point to rapid growth in Italy, France and Spain that could put the UK in second or even third place. In the UK online bingo has been one of the largest and fastest growing sectors of Britain’s online gaming industry. Currently over 400 websites are competing for online bingo players in the UK.

The UK has one of the oldest and longest established legal online gambling market in the world. The online gambling industry got a boost after the passage of the Gambling Act of 2005. The act came into force in September of 2007 and since then UK residents have enjoyed one of the most open gaming markets in Europe. UK consumers have benefitted from the highly regulated market and enjoy a level of consumer protections not found in other online gaming markets. Regulation has also created a highly competitive and active online gaming market that provides billions in tax revenues annually.

The UK’s liberal stance on internet gaming has seen player numbers increase and has made the UK a frontrunner in terms of gaming generated revenue. In 2009 only 5.6% of the UK population engaged in online gambling but by 2010 the figure had risen by 32%. To provide some contrast the number of Britons taking part in social networking grew by 4.5% during the same period. Consumer spending on internet gambling in the UK is now about £1.7 billion a year accounting for about 18% of all UK gambling revenues. This year experts expect the revenues to be about £2 billion.

Gambling market forecasts have been affected by legislation and analysts are paying close attention to tighten regulations on the online gaming industry. Experts are also paying attention to the EU Parliament’s announcement calling for a harmonious approach to regulation among member states. No matter what country takes the lead the overall picture is crystal clear; online gambling around the globe is set to grow steadily. Currently the market is valued at EUR24.6 billion and experts say that figure will increase to EUR 32 billion by 2015.

 

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