The global online gambling industry has experienced massive growth over the past decade, evolving from a niche sector to a multi-billion dollar market.
While established countries like the UK, parts of Europe, Australia and Canada have dominated the market share historically, emerging regions are now demonstrating huge potential thanks to improving internet connectivity and infrastructure along with relaxed regulatory frameworks.
Let’s examine some of the key emerging markets that show promise for expanded online gambling activities.
Latin America has a long history of gambling, but strict prohibitions and technological limitations hampered significant advancement of remote gaming until recent years. Now the market is accelerating exponentially. Research shows:
- The Latin American online gambling market is projected to grow at 13% CAGR from 2022-2027
- Brazil and Mexico dominate the regional market but countries like Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Peru are rapidly expanding
- Improved internet access is driving adoption, with 63% of Latin Americans now having regular connectivity
Several countries across Eastern Europe have nurtured growing online gambling markets but still exhibit room for major expansion as internet penetration increases and regulations adapt to further promote remote gaming, at Lucky Dreams, for instance.
- Total estimated market value of $7 billion throughout Eastern Europe by the end of 2022
- Fastest growing countries are the Czech Republic, Belarus, Estonia, Croatia and Bulgaria
- The Russian market has been huge historically but faces new limitations recently
- Average internet access in Eastern Europe over 70% and continuing to improve
- Smartphone adoption rising rapidly to enable mobile betting options
- Eastern Europe provides proximity access to the widespread European gambling market
The dynamics shaping the Eastern European online gambling landscape point to it evolving into a much more substantial player globally in the coming years. Countries across the region possess a strong foundation but also welcome opportunities for progress as technology improves and governments warm to the economic benefits the industry can provide.
Many African countries are just establishing regulatory systems to allow online gambling, setting the stage for robust development. Key facts regarding the fledgling African market include:
- Africa’s online gambling market is anticipated to grow at 24% CAGR from 2022-2027
- South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya are early market leaders, but neighboring countries are following suit
- Average internet penetration remains low at 43% but is improving as infrastructure spreads
- Use of mobile money services positions Africa to rapidly adopt phone-based betting
Certain Asian markets like Australia and New Zealand have long been established in the remote gaming industry. However, developing countries across South and Southeast Asia exhibit indicators of being the next big growth area globally thanks to expanding internet availability and usage by younger demographics along with relaxed regulatory standards looking to capitalize on tax revenue from the industry.
- Asia Pacific constitutes about 20% of global online gambling revenues currently
- Markets in Thailand, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and Singapore are all demonstrating growth
- Estimates show the Asia Pacific online gambling market growing at 17% CAGR through 2027
- India exhibits especially robust potential with its huge population and growing middle class
The pockets of exceptional expansion across Latin America, Africa and Asia Pacific point to these emerging markets playing a much more prominent role in the greater online gambling industry in the years ahead.
With internet access and supporting infrastructure improving globally, doors are opening for citizens in these regions to participate remotely in a form of entertainment long dominated by developed countries. Regulators are accommodating and local companies are looking to capitalize on the vast opportunities.
All indications are that established markets should pay close attention to these emerging regions as they grow in significance in the overall online gambling landscape going forward. Their influence both competitively and collaboratively on the rest of the sector appears assured.