Online gambling, both in the form of casino gaming and sports betting is an industry that is enjoying significant year-on-year growth. The industry is currently generating around $50 billion in annual revenue, a figure that industry experts predict will treble by 2030.
This growth isn’t just through more people deciding to try online gambling. It is also a result of gambling companies being able to enter new markets due to legal and regulatory reforms. The US online sports betting market has been the most extreme example, but not the only one. Here, we look at three of the world’s emerging iGaming markets.
Even in countries where iGaming is prohibited, it is only the operation of an online gambling facility that is illegal. In almost all cases, the law does not prohibit people from gambling online, but they are forced to use online platforms that are based offshore. Canada is a great example of this, and of how changing laws can open up the market.
In 2021, Canadians spent an estimated $2 billion in online wagers using offshore betting platforms. Earlier this year, the province of Ontario started issuing licenses for online casinos to operate legally. With 24 companies now licensed, it estimates that the newly regulated industry will generate $1.5 billion in revenue in 2022 and $3 billion in 2023. It seems beyond doubt that other Canadian provinces such as Quebec will follow Ontario’s lead in the months ahead.
Kiwis are fond of a wager, and New Zealand is home to several impressive land-based casinos such as the historic Christchurch Casino and the Sky City facilities in Auckland, Queenstown, and Hamilton. As was the case with Canada, New Zealanders place well over $2 billion in online wagers each year, and gambleonline.co/en-nz/ shows how many online casino platforms are actively targeting New Zealand gamblers.
It is extra frustrating for New Zealand iGaming businesses such as Cerebralfixis which specialize in developing slot games for the online casino sector yet see them all hosted
offshore. New Zealand has made legal changes to allow some very restricted online betting, but further reform is needed. It will happen in time, but legal wheels turn slowly.
The second most populous country on the planet, and one whose people are famed for their love of both tech and sport, India clearly has immense potential as an iGaming market. Like the US, India is comprised of different states, each with its own gambling laws. In most of them, online casinos are prohibited but there are no laws preventing people from gambling at offshore casinos and sports betting sites.
India is currently going through the sort of smartphone revolution seen in Europe and N America years earlier, as a combination of affordable handsets and better connectivity in rural areas make the internet accessible to all. iGaming businesses are targeting Indian clients like never before, and experts predict that the market will quadruple in size over the next 10 years. Several states are already looking to push through regulatory reform so that iGaming platforms can operate legally – and of course, so they can pay taxes on their revenue!