Key European Players in the Global Gambling Arena

By  //  December 28, 2021

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In recent years, the online gambling industry in Europe has been gaining momentum. Indeed, according to the latest industry forecasts, online gambling will grow by 9.2% between 2022 and 2025; it is expected to be well ahead of projected land-based casinos over the same period.

In 2021, the gross gaming revenue (GDR) generated by the online gambling sector was estimated at 22.2 billion euros. This figure is expected to grow by 32% to € 29.3 billion in 2022. 

But which countries are leading in the segment? Who has the largest online gambling industry in the EU? And what to expect from the global gambling market in the future? Let’s try to answer all these questions together further in this post. In meanwhile, if you want to have fun and play your favorite casino games, then you can check decent gambling platforms on

#1 – Italy

In 2018, the Italian government adopted several rules that contributed to the general development and transformation of the entire industry. As a result, gross income from gambling was the highest in Italy compared to other European countries.

In 2020, the GDR of the Italian online industry was valued at € 1.85 billion, with card games and fixed-odds games found in online casinos accounting for the greatest percentage (45%, or € 835 million) of this amount. Sports betting did not lag behind, with a market share of 39% or € 730 million. Market experts predict an even brighter future for the market. 

#2 – Germany

Germany is one of the fastest-growing markets for the online casino industry in Europe, with revenues growing to € 2.2 billion in 2021. And it is sports betting showed the largest increase over the previous year, up to 18.6% over 2020.

According to a recent study published by the consulting company, the total value of the online gambling sector will reach 3.3 billion euros by 2024, making it one of the largest markets not only in Europe but worldwide. And a big part of the revenue will come from Germany.

#3 – France

Compared to other European countries, France is a very gambling-friendly country. The situation is reflected in their attitude to gambling, related laws, and regulations  France is another country where the online gambling industry is just booming, with its profits growing by 18.2% in 2021.

Total revenue this year reached a record high level of € 1.42 billion and was mainly driven by € 880 million from the sports betting sector. During this record year, operators paid € 701 million in taxes to the French government, with the lion’s share (€ 470 million) coming from sportsbook sites.

#4 – Spain

Spain experienced a real boom in the online gaming market in 2021, recording 17.7% growth over the previous year. This impressive rise was driven mainly by a 30% increase in online slot-generated turnover.

It reached 51.9 million euros in the second quarter of 2021. At the same time, the popularity of live roulette has grown greatly over the same period. Of course, it didn’t bring in as much money as slots, making € 27 million, but it is still a significant 75% increase over 2021.

Such a massive development of the gambling industry is associated with the fact that Spanish gamblers place bets on just about everything from lotteries to soccer, racing pools, horse racing, bingo, slot machines, etc. Yet the most popular form of gambling in Spain remains the national state lottery.

However, the situation might change very soon, especially if we take into account the great popularity of slot machines in online casinos.

#5 – Netherlands

You will be surprised to know that the gross gambling income in the Netherlands was about 3.1 billion euros in 2021. Did you actually know that the Netherlands’ lottery and gambling industry allows land-based gambling? In fact, it is so. In February 2019, some changes were made to the country legislation that has not yet entered into force but will come into effect by the end of 2021.

Thus, the current restrictions on online gambling in the country will soon change, which is very good news for Dutch players who are fans of online gambling. So the local government can count on more money added to the state treasure. 

#6 – Great Britain

The United Kingdom is already one of the most popular travel destinations for travelers from all over the world. But expensive London casinos have also become the country’s trademark for wealthy Europeans. In addition, a few years ago in the English city of Birmingham opened one of the largest entertainment complexes, the construction of which cost about 210 million euros.

Resorts World Birmingham is home to the largest casino in the UK, a shopping center, restaurants, and cinemas, which are owned by the Malaysian hotel giant – Genting Group.

#7 – Portugal

Portugal is also one of the European centers of gambling. In particular, thanks to its casino Estoril, located in the coastal resort town of Cascais, close to Lisbon. What makes Estoril special is that it is one of the largest operating casinos in Europe. In addition, the gambling establishment is located practically on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. There are also smaller casinos in other cities of Portugal, including Porto, Faro, Portimão, Lagos, and others.

#8 – Monaco

Obviously, this collection cannot do without one of the most popular resorts for the wealthy from around the world. The Principality of Monaco is known not only for its gorgeous views, round-the-clock warm weather, and expensive cars. It is believed that the first casino in Monte Carlo appeared in 1865.

Today, the casino in Monte Carlo houses the Opera House and the National Museum of Fine Arts. This casino remains one of the oldest and most popular in the world and brings a lot of money to the state treasury.