The company Slotegrator, being a leading distributor of software and platforms for online casinos, presents a review of one of the most rapidly growing sectors in the iGaming industry – mobile iGaming. The following material provides a detailed analysis of recent data and major sectors of the industry, wins and their distribution by region. Additionally, you may find expert opinions and expected estimates.

Article summary

  1. Growth of the iGaming industry
  2. Distribution by region
  3. Mobile gambling
  4. Distribution of mobile gambling by region
  5. Conclusion

Gambling industry has been gradually evolving along with steady development of IT technologies. Within the advent and popularization of the World Wide Web, the said industry has reached a brand new level of development. The first online casino was launched in the US in 1997.

In the era of globalization and ubiquitous wire communication channels, online casinos became so popular due to their limitless possibilities. Millions of gamblers all over the world get a chance to gamble, having no need to leave their homes or offices. So the popularity of online gambling keeps increasing, bringing significant incomes to online gambling houses.

Within gradual growth of mobile Internet popularity, online casinos started focusing on this very segment offering their clients brand new gaming solutions.

Nowadays, practically all operators of online gaming platforms provide mobile versions of popular online games on their official websites. Users of tablets and smartphones can quickly access any casino game including roulette, board games or slots.

Gambling markets, in their turn, year by year show sustainable growth. While in 2007 the total revenue out of gambling accounted for $16 bill., by 2015 this number boosted to $81,5 bill. Particularly $37 bill. out of total wins fall within online gambling. The recent analytical data provided by the company Newzoo points to general growth of the gambling industry that only keeps increasing by 8% annually.

Apart from Internet technologies, there exist a couple of additional factors contributing to the dynamic development of online gambling: economic growth of advantageous regions, as well as governmental policies aimed at minimizing constraints imposed on gambling businesses. These processes are carried out at an accelerated pace and already a range of countries has acknowledged the importance of online gambling having legalized it.

Currently online gambling market is officially legalized in 85 countries.

Growth of the iGaming industry

The index of general growth of the iGambling industry, according to Slotegrator’s experts, accounts for 8–10% annually. Online gambling is considered to be passing through its golden age, which will supposedly last up to 2020. Slotegrator doesn’t exclude the fact that such an increment might reach 11-12% annually.

Let us take a closer look at online gambling growing numbers by analyzing different statistical data.

H2 Gambling Capital research group is one of the leading companies specializing in iGaming market research. As it is stated in its exclusive report, recently published in the magazine Igaming Business, the total amount of world’s iGaming winnings for the past 2016 and prognosis for 2017-2020 is the following:

Total global iGaming gross win (€BN)

As you can see, the total amount of world’s winnings starting from 2016 up to 2020 has increased by 43%, and is thought to be increasing by 6,3% - 12,3%.

At the same time, a significant matter of concern for the industry is illegal or black market of gambling. It’s actual existece is directly linked to imperfections of legislative regulation of this industry in different countries.

People have always had passion for gambling no matter who they are and where they live. That is why in those countries where gambling is officially banned illegal land-based casinos, as well as online ones are widely distributed.

However, worldwide tendency indicates, that legislators tend to perceive gambling as a source of additional budget funding.

That’s why there have been taken actions for further legalization of gambling in order to neutralize the black market. This tendency is also reflected in the graphs provided by H2 Gambling Capital.

Percentage of global iGaming gross win "White market"

According to the data provided by the company Firstgaming (RUB90), the share of online gambling in terms of world’s market revenues is increasing even faster than the numbers of the gambling industry itself. If in 2014 online revenues accounted for 8,8% out of total revenues from the gambling business, by 2015 these numbers increased to 9,6%.

Betting remains an indisputable leader of the online gambling market, which accounts for, according to Firstgaming, around 47% of the market.

Practically the same data was published in a report provided by H2 Gambling Capital research group. The dynamics of this very tendency can be seen from the graph provided below.

iGaming as percentage of global gambling gross win

Distribution by region

As it was mentioned before, the second important factor influencing growing numbers in this very sector is regulatory environment. It´s effectiveness in terms of online gambling is reflected in the following diagram, provided by H2 Gambling Capital.

Global iGaming gross win by region ( for 2015):

Global iGaming gross win by region (for 2015)

Europe seems to have the most advanced legislative base in terms of global gambling. More than 20 European countries have already legalized online gambling activities that contributes greatly to free development and distribution of online gambling under established rules.

It has also had a positive impact on the statistical data reflecting global iGaming gross win. As it can be seen from the diagram, Europe constitutes almost a half of global iGaming values. One third of global iGaming gross win belongs to Asia. This is related to the fact that in some Asian countries online gambling is legalized, while in some is still strictly prohibited.

Another factor determining such a distribution is the level of economic development. Europe is one of the most economically developed iGaming markets. Asian high economic indicators can be explained by its recent economic breakthrough: it’s gross domestic product increased by 10 times.

Western business sponsors are investing hundreds millions of dollars into promising Asian markets. The data analytics company Newzoo has recently published a list of the most promising regions that includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and

Vietnam. The average annual rate of growth of this region accounts for 28,8%.

If we try to segment the iGaming market by the type of entertainment it offers, it becomes obvious that betting takes leading positions covering around 48% of the market. The data provided by H2 Gambling Capital is almost similar to estimates of the rest of research groups.

Depending on the type of games of chance, global iGaming gross win by product for the 2015 looks as follows:

Global iGaming gross win by product (for 2015)

Different countries have different distinctive features and, as a result, there exist different gambling preferences. Betting or sports betting is traditionally popular in European and Asian countries. Particularly these two regions, being leaders by gross win, have paramount significance in distribution of numbers.

In different European countries, the share of online betting accounts for approximately 30% - 49%. For instance, according to the data provided by Firstgaming, share of betting in France accounts for 31,5%, in Italy – 31%, in Spain – 49%, in Germany - 43,7%, in Great Britain - 29,9%. An average index of betting gross volume in the European Union – 36,4%.

According to the data analytics company Firstgaming, Asia is also one of the major offline betting centers in obedience to the statistical data of 2015. Betting gross win obtained by the Asian operators has reached €17,4 bill., while global gross win out of betting accounts for 52%.

As for the online segment, Asia still holds leading positions. Revenues out of Asian online platforms in 2015 accounted for €7,3 bill., while their global volumes account for 44%.

Lotteries are the second most popular types of gambling with Europeans and Asians. As it is seen from the diagram, lotteries constitute a quarter out of gross winnings followed by casino, poker, bingo, etc.

Let’s take a closer look at distribution of online gambling gross win (iGaming as percentage of gambling gross win by region).

iGaming as percentage of gaming gross win by region (for 2015)

According to the data provided by H2 Gambling Capital research group.

As you can see, Europe takes the leading position, while the second place is taken by the countries of Pacific Islands, followed by Asia. The main reason for such ranking is in the number of stakes made by gamblers, that in their turn depend upon the level of gamblers’ income.

Next, you may find data reflecting distribution of wins out of legal and illegal gambling.

Percentage of iGaming gross win “White Market” by region is as follows:

Percentage of iGaming gross win “White Market” by region (for 2015)

As it can be seen, the situation is directly proportional. In those countries where gambling is legislatively regulated the income from online casinos is significantly higher compared to wins from illegal gambling houses. In those areas where online casinos are prohibited by the law, illegal gambling is flourishing.

Mobile gambling

This is the latest trend of the iGaming industry. Mobile gambling started developing a couple of years ago along with mass access to high-speed mobile Internet. The general growth ratio is simply incredible. Experts from Slotegrator consider mobile gambling as one of the most rapidly developing segments of the gambling market.

The Firstgaming (RUB90) research group has recently published a report indicating that in 2015 the total share of mobile in online casino revenues increased from 24,5% to 29,4%. And this index keeps growing: in 2015 mobile gambling brought its owners around 30% more funds compared to 2014. According to projections based on the indices of 2016, mobile gambling will keep growing in numbers bringing already 36,6% of wins.

Such rapidly increasing rates are explained by the fact that mobile is widely accessible and easy to use. The only thing gamblers need for that is a couple of devices enabling access to the Internet.

Thus, specialists from Slotegrator arguably state that mobile casinos are the future of the gambling business.

Within gradual advancement, ubiquity and low costs of mobile Internet and, at the same time, growing popularity of smartphones and tablets the numbers of users willing to gamble online will definitely grow.

Currently, the majority of developers of the iGaming content for online casinos adapt their old games for mobile platforms, particularly, transforming them into HTML5 format. Initially all the contemporary games are developed using this very technology. Everything is taken into account in advance: for instance, even when the mobile connection is very unstable and gamblers get suddenly disconnected, the unfinished game session will be restored, so eventually nothing gets lost. Gamblers get a possibility to gamble both on tokens and real money.

The catalogue of offered mobile versions of games is very rich. Among them you may find different versions of roulette, blackjack, video poker and the rest of popular card games, numerous slots including contemporary brightly colored video slots having exceptional graphic design and sound effects.

H2 Gambling Capital research group has conducted a research on mobile gambling and made its own projections based on obtained data for the next 4 years.

Total global mobile gross win (billions of Euro):

Total global mobile gross win (billions of Euro)

As you can see from the graph, the projections for the development of mobile gambling arguably point to the fact that the said industry still haven´t reached its peak.

Starting from 2016 up to 2020, according to the data provided by H2 Gambling Capital research group, the gross win will increase by 76%. Currently, not many of the existing industries can show such intensive growth rates.

Mobile as percentage of global iGaming gross win:

Mobile as percentage of global iGaming gross win

Even though iGaming as an industry is rapidly evolving, mobile gambling outstrips it in numbers. This fact serves as another proof for mobile iGaming to be the future of the gambling industry.

Distribution of mobile gambling by region

This index is influenced greatly both by legislative characteristics of certain countries or regions and their general economic development rates, directly depending on distribution of high-speed mobile Internet. It should be noted that global mobile Internet coverage is rather uneven: in some regions it is easily accessible, while some regions don’t have it at all.

Mobile gross win by region (for 2015):

Mobile gross win by region (for 2015)

Proceeding from the facts mentioned above, it is obvious that Europe takes leading positions, followed by Asia, showing almost similar results, while Africa and Latin America

complete the said list. The last-mentioned regions show low levels of mobile iGaming development due to poor coverage of mobile Internet in these very zones.

Let’s take a look at mobile iGaming market by different types of games of chance.

Global mobile gross win by product, according to H2 Gambling Capital, is distributed as follows (2015):

Global mobile gross win by product (for 2015)

On this graph mobile iGaming market was segmented by product, pointing to the fact that betting makes up its major share, accounting for around 71%. The second place is taken by online casino gaming content accounting for 24% and the remaining 5% belong to lotteries. Broadly speaking, popularity of mobile betting can be explained by its convenience.

Mobile as percentage of iGaming gross win by region looks as follows:

Mobile as percentage of iGaming gross win by region

The ultimate statistical data we are going to analyze in this very review reflects mobile as percentage of iGaming gross win by region. The latest index is considered as average, which is exemplified just to make a true comparison.

In this case, the leading positions are taken by Asia. The main reason for that is total ban on gambling prevailing in Asian countries. Vietnam is a rare exception to the rule, as long as gambling was legalized there and its authorities contribute greatly to its further promotion, similarly to such regions as Macao, located in China. As for online gambling, in the majority of cases it is not regulated at all, that gives a great opportunity of its subsequent prompt development.

In China, as well as in the rest of Asian countries, such as Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, etc., great popularity is attributed to so called proxy-gambling, a process when online gambling is carried out via an intermediary or a proxy. Moreover, betting and lotteries are also popular in Asia. These types of entertainment hold leading positions in general iGaming rankings. For instance, according to Slotegrator´s analysts, correlation between online and offline betting incomes on the Asian market are equal to a proportion of 70% and 30% accordingly.

Conclusion

Development of the online gambling industry as a whole to a great extent depends upon advancement of technologies. Experts from Slotegrator point to three key constituents of contemporary online technologies: 1) data transfer speed; 2) general Internet coverage; 3) development of mobile 4G Internet.

According to Slotegrator, the next huge step in iGaming is integration of VR technologies into daily gambling. Certain operators and developers already experiment with stream 360° video. At the same time, virtual reality headsets like Oculus Rift are becoming more and more accessible to average consumers.

Slotegrator argues that tendencies of the current gambling market point to the fact that in the near future the share of mobile and Internet will only increase.