The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), the industry body representing online gaming and betting operators licensed in the EU, released official data, stating that gambling revenues would drop by 23% in 2020 due to the material impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
“Like many other sectors, Europe’s gambling sector has taken a hit from COVID-19 this year but the growth trend of online continues to be strong.”Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, EGBA
Online Gambling Booming
The data predicts a 7% increase in revenue from online gambling for the 27 markets in the EU plus the UK market it covers. Gross gaming revenue (GGR) from online operations is expected to reach €26.3 billion in 2020, compared to €24.5 billion for the previous year, despite the slump during the second quarter as a result of the mass cancellation of sporting events.
“There is also still lots of room for growth in markets like France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, where the online penetration of the total gambling market is still relatively low compared to other European countries.”Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, EGBA
The projected increase in revenues from online gaming operations would not be sufficient to offset the sinking revenues generated by land-based gaming facilities, which are expected to lose 33%, from €74.1 billion in 2019, to €49.6 billion in 2020, mainly due to the closures imposed on the venues.
On a positive note, EGBA projected a steady uptrend of 7% growth annually for the online gambling market, stating revenues from the vertical would reach 33.6% of total gambling revenue by 2025.
Alongside the momentum for online gaming increases the popularity of the use of mobile devices for placing bets, reaching 45.6% share of all wagering in Europe during 2020 and projected to expand to 50.8% by 2022 and 58.2% in 2025. At the current rate of growth, mobile wagering is expected to surpass for the first time desktop use in 2022.
Member Companies’ Details
The EGBA data release included information from its member companies, Bet365, Bettson Group, Entain, Kindred Group and William Hill, regarding number of customers, market value, games, investments in sports, licensing and regulatory compliance. In June, EGBA launched a new Code of Conduct for online gambling.
“We commend our members’ efforts in support of safer gambling and their significant investments in European sports.”Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, EGBA
The 5 gaming operators registered a total of 16 million online customers and a combined €5.6 billion in online GGR with an average customer win rate of 94.3%. 63% of the clients used at least one safer gambling tool, posting a 37% rise compared to the previous year, while operators’ direct interventions also posted an increase, 50%, year-over-year, to 1.2 million.
Member companies invested a total of €340 million in European sports, through sponsorships, €107 million, and streaming rights, €233 million, posting an increase of 56% from the previous year.
In terms of compliance, companies acquired 145 online gambling licenses across 17 European countries, but also closed accounts for 1.8 million clients over concerns related to know-your-customer (KYC), fraud, anti-money laundering (AML), and betting integrity/match fixing.