European gaming revenue falls by almost a quarter in 2020

| By Richard Mulligan
Europe’s total gambling revenue is set to drop by almost a quarter this year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New data published by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) in partnership with H2 Gambling Capital suggests the gross gaming revenue for the UK and EU-27 countries will fall by 23% from €98.6bn in 2019 to €75.9bn this year.

The study forecasts Europe’s online gambling revenue to increase by 7% this year – from €24.5bn GGR in 2019 to €26.3bn in 2020 – despite a significant drop in online revenue during Q2 as a result of the cancellation of major European sports. However, this will not compensate for Europe’s major land-based declines, with land-based gambling revenue expected to drop by 33% this year – from €74.1bn GGR in 2019 to €49.6bn in 2020 – due to the shuttering of land-based establishments.

Looking ahead, the steady growth of Europe’s online gambling market is expected to continue, with online GGR expected to grow approximately 7% yearly and reach 33.6% of Europe’s total gambling revenue by 2025.

The study suggests play via mobile will account for 45.6% of Europe’s online gambling revenue in 2020 and reach 50.8% by 2022, surpassing the use of desktop for the first time. This trend is expected to continue, with mobile betting projected to reach a 58.2% share in 2025.

“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,” said Maarten Haijer, secretary general of EGBA.

“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.”

EGBA has also published detailed information from its member companies — bet365, Betsson Group, Entain, Kindred Group, and William Hill – including information about their customers, market value, games, investment in sports, licensing and regulatory compliance.

Its members had a total of 16 million online customers, with an average customer win/return rate of 94.3%.

In terms of social responsibility, 63% of customers used at least one safer gambling tool, an increase from 37% of customers in the previous year. The operators conducted 1.2 million direct interventions with customers to promote safer gambling, a 50% increase from the previous year.

The members had a combined €5.6bn in online GGR, and invested €340m in European sports, through sponsorships (€107m) and streaming rights (€233m), an increase of 56% from the previous year.

In terms of regulatory compliance, a total of 145 online gambling licenses have been obtained across 17 European countries. They have closed 1.8m customer accounts due to know-your-customer, fraud, anti-money laundering, and betting integrity/match fixing concerns.

Haijer said: “We commend our members efforts in support of safer gambling and their significant investments in European sports.”

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