While the industry continues to jockey for position Stateside following the US Supreme Court’s momentous lifting of the US sports betting ban, away from the industry spotlight Europe's regulated markets have continued to grow.
In the markets covered in this report, Spain saw a 16.5% year-on-year growth rate in the first three months of 2018, Denmark nearly 29%. The UK, while down on the 20% growth seen in previous years, is still growing at between 8-10% a year.
As Scott Longley points out, these are healthy numbers and with Spain having lowered the tax on most products from 25% to 20% and with Sweden applying an 18% tax rate when the market opens in January 2019, “the sector would appear to be winning the argument with regard to the equilibrium to be struck between the government coffers and the rate of channelisation achieved in any given market.”
That said, a growing sector fuelled by marketing and ad spend inevitably not only draws the attention of target customers but also legislators and activists.
While in Denmark this shift has led to measures being introduced aimed at exerting stronger controls over bonusing, in the UK this has ultimately seen the remote gaming tax head in the other direction and in Italy a blanket ban on gambling advertising introduced by the populist government.
The lesson for the wider industry is that with responsible gaming issues now moving the political and public agenda across Europe, the freedom to advertise the industry currently enjoys needs to be wielded sensibly and viewed through a far wider prism than the narrow metric of new player sign-ups.
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