Gambling is any form of cash games: roulette, betting pool, slot machines, etc. The Internet development has provided gambling with new prospects by transferring it in the virtual environment. The world online gambling market has been existing for more than 20 years. First online gambling platforms appeared in 1995. Nowadays, there are tens of thousands of game websites on the Internet, including online casinos.              

Currently, online gambling is at its height and will continue growing at least up to 2020, according to TechNavio, a global research company. Since the early 2000s, when the industry had just begun developing, its world income increased from $10-13 billion to $37 billion in 2015. A total world gambling industry income was estimated by analysts at $81.5 billion in 2015. The latest data of Newzoo analytics firm shows the overall growth of the gambling industry by more than 8% annually.                        

According to Firstgaming (RUB90), a share of online gambling in the total world market income continues to grow. While in 2014, online income was 8.8% of the total gambling business revenue, in 2015 this figure increased to 9.6%. Betting continues to be a market share leader on the Internet, covering 47% of the market. The income of this segment was 16.4 billion euros in 2015. Within 2015, online betting income has increased by 4.3%.                

Gaming content distribution in online gambling:

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Recently, TechNavio research group, having conducted an investigation, has published its prediction suggesting that online gambling market will increase by 11% from 2014 to 2019.        

Factors influencing online gambling development

Slotegrator, the company focusing on distribution of solutions for online gambling operators as well as on consulting and education, conducted a review of the online gambling market as on the beginning of 2016, and told about the main prospects of its development.    

Internet technologies development contributes to the development of online gambling market. According to Slotegrator experts, one can distinguish three major factors related with the Internet that influence online gambling growth: 1) Data rate speed; 2) Internet covering generally; 3) 4G mobile Internet development.       

The Internet development provides new opportunities and new varieties of online gambling entertainment, for example, Live Casino – online casino with live dealer. Slotegrator analysts think that the great future is reserved for live casino, because it uses Virtual Reality innovative technologies and offers players to immense themselves into real casino atmosphere as much as possible, being anywhere in the world.        

Consequently, the development of mobile Internet technologies has increased the amount of users playing online casino games, poker, bingo, and betting on sports events, using modern smartphones and tablets. Nowadays, almost a half of all players, at least sometimes, place bets using such devices.  

YStats research organization, with the office in Hamburg, published the report called "Global Online Gambling and Betting Market 2014" in 2015. Analysts have come to the main conclusions: the popularity of modern tablets and smartphones as mobile devices for access to online casino websites and gambling platforms is rapidly growing and this speed will increase. Yücel Yelken, YStats CEO, said, “Despite predominant condition of land-based casinos, the development rate of online casinos is much higher.”        

One more research group, Firstgaming (RUB90), calls mobile gambling the most fast-growing gambling market segment. In 2015, the mobile share in total online income increased from 24.5% to 29.4%. There is also a high rate of income increase: it is higher for 30% in 2015 than in 2014. According to predictions, in 2016, mobile gambling will continue rapidly growing and will bring 36.6% of income in online gambling.      

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Online gambling geography

According to Newzoo, by the end of 2016, the whole world market of the gambling industry will reach profitability of $99.6 billion, which is 8.5% more than in 2015. In addition, the most part – $46.6 billion – will be in the Asian-Pacific Region, including such countries as China, India, Japan, and Australia.

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Global game market (segmentation according to regions, YoY – income increase in 2016 in comparison with the results of 2015) – prediction

According to Slotegrator analysts, currently, one can distinguish two centers of the online gambling industry development: Europe, Asia and Middle Eastern countries.   

Distribution of incomes in the online gambling industry according to regions of the world: 

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According to Newzoo analytics firm, online gambling market revenues of Southeast Asia countries have already reached $1.1 billion and will double by 2017. The explosive growth can be attributed to the fantastic breakthrough that has happened within recent years: aggregate GDP of the region has increased tenfold and western investors fund hundreds of millions of dollars in Asia prospective markets.

Newzoo analysts firm has focused its research on determinant countries of the region, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. It is these countries that have 99% of gambling industry revenue. A Compound Annual Growth Rate of the region is very high – 28.8%.

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The graph showing games revenue growth in Southeast Asia countries between 2013 and 2917 (according to Newzoo). 

Europe is the most economically developed region with the highest GDP, bringing about a quarter of overall gambling business, which has been almost 87 billion of euros in 2014. Europe annually increases its share of online gambling incomes on the average by 15%. It is a maximum indicator in comparison with other regions of the world. According to European Gambling Commission, the European gambling market is estimated at $15 billion as of 2015.            

The most active European country is Great Britain with the most developed gambling market. According to Gambling Commission, 15% of respondents play gambling on the Internet; since 2009 to 2015 slot games growth was 328%, table games was increased by 52%, poker – by 26%. More than 18 million accounts belonging to Great Britain players are registered on online entertainment websites.        

The structure of gross revenue of Europe gambling business in %:

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New areas of online gambling

Mobile online gambling. Nowadays, more and more gambling websites create a special HTML5 page, adapted to browsers of mobile phones and tablets. Experts believe that the rapid growth of this market will last several years that in terms of income will make mobile devices the most significant gambling platform, bypassing PCs and laptops.  More and more countries have 4G Internet, which simplify and speed up an access to games and bets using mobile devices. According to Slotegrator experts, even today the main income of a range of their clients goes to mobile traffic.

According to H2 Gambling Capital analytical group’s predictions, in 2018, total revenue from mobile gambling applications will be 19 billion of euros, which is approximately 45% of online gambling industry income totally.     

Dynamics of mobile applications profitability in total online gambling: 

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 According to H2 Gambling Capital

Live Casino. Live casinos or live dealer games are another prospective online gambling area. In recent years, a lot of online casinos have started adding live dealer games to their online platforms. Slotegrator experts believe that the future belongs to this very area. Company clients’ statistics shows that in six months since Live Casino integration, operators’ average income from this application has been 45-50% from GGR, which has shown an average growth by 30% for the whole time.