Online gambling to become £27 billion industry by end of 2015


The global online gambling market is expected to reach $41.4 billion (£27 billion) by the end of 2015, tripling in size over the last decade, according to Statista.

The market is expected to maintain its current single digit growth rates over the next four years, with the greatest increases coming from mobile and increasing social games. As more people first turn to their smartphones or tablets to access the internet, apps offer online gaming businesses a simple way to offer safe and secure gambling.

By the end of 2018, the value of bets placed via mobile devices is expected to reach $100 billion (£66 billion), with 164 million people using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to place a bet or buy lottery tickets.

In a recent report by research firm YStats, Europe was found to be the largest online gambling market, with betting, mostly on sports, the dominant segment across the UK, France, and Spain. However, growth also remains strong in other forms of online gambling by firms such as NetBet.

In the US, online betting on sports and other games of skill remain illegal in most states under the 1961 Federal Wire Act, but a number of states have made provisions for gambling on games of chance to be legal in recent years. In 2014, New Jersey was the biggest state gambling market with $262 million (£172 million) in revenues for 2014.

Over the next decade, future technologies such as cryptocurrency Bitcoin are expected to influence the gambling market, with ultra-low cost or even free microtransaction processing. However, for such a technology to become mainstream, significant efforts will be needed to rebrand it from an anonymous financial currency of the deep web to an open technology for underpinning financial transactions with the blockchain.

Photograph by Images money/Flickr

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