iGaming is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world of entertainment. Many relate the term with slots or blackjack. However, iGaming encompasses all forms of online gambling, from poker to slots to blackjack and even online sports betting.
In Europe, the industry has thrived for the past three decades. In Finland and England especially, the industry is thriving. However, most of Europe is entirely open to the industry. Finland, England, Italy, Germany, Austria, and many other European nations have had legal gambling for a long time.
In the USA, online gambling laws are a lot stricter. For a long time, US citizens would have to access offshore casinos or simply travel to a brick-and-mortar establishment to play their favorite games. However, this changed ten years ago.
Since regulated online casinos appeared in the United States in 2013, the iGaming industry in America has begun to thrive. However, even now, only six US states have fully legalized online gambling in all its forms. These six states are the following:
· Michigan (most recently legalized online casinos)
· West Virginia
· New Jersey (the first to legalize online casinos, and by far the most significant iGaming industry in the USA)
With the US iGaming industry hitting its 10th anniversary, we decided to review the numbers in Europe and compare them to that of America.
As we already explained, Europe is more open to online gambling than the USA. If you ever visit EU-based countries like Austria, England, or Italy, you will be fine playing a couple of games online. Be warned many of these websites are region-locked, so if you are a tourist, you might need some help reconnecting from home.
Looking at Europe’s gambling industry, the United Kingdom has the most significant gross gaming revenue or GGR. In 2020, the UK’s GGR surpassed 15 billion Euros. Italy, Germany, and France followed the UK, with 13, 12 and 10 billion Euros respectively. The overall gaming revenue generated from gambling in Europe is around $87 billion.
With the gambling industry growing exponentially year by year, many predict that the future of gambling is quite bright. Some analysts forecast that the total figure will reach over 120 billion Euros by the end of 2025 or early 2026.
It is worth noting that this refers to the overall revenue generated from gambling, not just the iGaming industry. If we look at the European iGaming industry, the overall revenue generated by European online casinos comes up to about $15 billion.
There is a clear winner when comparing the $15 billion generated from online gambling to the $71 billion generated from land-based gambling in Europe. However, since online gambling is a relatively new phenomenon, we must admit that the industry has grown incredibly fast. But how does it compare to the United States online casino industry? Let’s find out.
The USA’s Numbers
When comparing the USA’s gambling industry to Europe, the first thing to note is that America is much more recent. Sports betting online was legalized on the federal level in 2018, only five years ago. A federal law regarding online casinos does not exist as of 2023.
However, each state has the right to implement its laws. New Jersey’s iGaming industry currently makes up 91% of the USA online gambling market. The state was the first to legalize the practice entirely. Unsurprisingly, New Jersey is home to one of the biggest gambling cities in the USA, Atlantic City.
Second, only to Las Vegas, Atlantic City generated $2.55 billion in 2021 from gambling alone. And that number has grown since. On top of that, New Jersey’s iGaming industry continues to grow, generating hundreds of millions of dollars.
In 2021, the gross gaming revenue in the USA reached around $9 billion, a significant jump. However, the number is incomparable to Europe’s $15 billion. So, what needs to happen for the USA’s iGaming market to reach the heights of the European one?
What Needs to Change?
The most obvious answer is the laws. Most states have banned online gambling, and with no federal law, only residents of the six states we mentioned at the beginning of the article can gamble online. Of course, offshore casinos are always an option. However, revenue generated from offshore casinos does not fall under the USA’s gambling industry.
Many gambling organizations are pushing for federal legalization of the iGaming industry. Not only would doing this make gambling a lot more accessible, but it would also help the American gaming market grow and reach the heights of the European gambling industry.
Most analysts forecast that states will continue to legalize the practice soon. Some believe that in the next ten years, the USA’s industry might grow to the point where it rivals Europe’s. However, it isn’t even close; the European online gambling industry blows the US out of the water.
Also read more: