Europe is home to some of the most famous football clubs in the world. Several countries in the region have a lengthy history of horse racing, football betting, volleyball betting and betting on many other popular sports in their realms.
It is, therefore, not surprising that sports betting is one of the most popular forms of gambling in Europe. The growth of the sports betting industry is in part fueled by the fact that almost all countries in Europe have laws that regulate online gambling, offering a safe environment for sports punters.
Countries in the EU are said to form 45% of the total betting handle globally, meaning that this region is essentially the backbone of sports betting as we know it today. Have you ever wondered which countries make the biggest impact in driving the growth of sports betting on retail facilities and online? Here’s a look at the countries that top the list for online sports betting:
Like the United Kingdom, sports bettors in France are also given the leeway to withdraw their wins without incurring any tax on their gambling proceeds. This has contributed to a very positive gambling environment, and as of now, the collective amount of tax revenue collected sports wagers in France is estimated to amount to be over €470 million annually. The French market is projected to hit over €13 billion by 2024.
Looking at a sport by sport ranking, football betting leads the way with 57% of the market share, with tennis following with 26% and basketball coming in third at 8%. Aside from the top three sports, sports fans in France also enjoy betting on Rugby, Volleyball and Handball. To ensure that everything runs smoothly and ethically, the French industry is overseen by ARJEL, the gaming regulator that’s responsible for issuing licenses to all the operators and keeping them in line.
Italians love for sports betting has also prevailed for centuries dates back to ancient Roman times. All forms of sports betting are allowed in the country except for dog racing which was prohibited back in 2002. At the moment, betting on sporting events like horse races and football contributes to 14% of the Italian gambling market, with gross gaming revenue of more than €19 billion by the end of 2019. Additionally, the total sports betting handle of 2019 for France hit a record high of over €110.54 billion, effectively generating more than €11.4 billion in tax proceeds for the country’s economy.
The United Kingdom is here as an honourable mention given that it recently exited the European Union in their Brexit movement, one of the most debated political decisions in modern history. There is a very long history of sports betting in the UK, but the activity has been stringently controlled for decades, up to just a few years ago where these laws loosened. Today, the UK is the home to some of the retail sports betting facilities, to an extent that some say when you visit the UK, you can’t miss a retail bookmarker in every street you walk into.
At the same time, online bookies in the UK are also leaders in offering customers cutting-edge platforms that boast of vast coverage of events, complete with a lucrative range of betting markets. Other than having robust sports betting platforms that are rich in betting content, UK bookies also have a reputation for offering impressive bonuses that offer players value.
Owing to the strict gaming licenses issued by the UK Gambling Commission, sportsbooks in the United Kingdom are some of the most trusted bookies in the globe. Couple that with the fact that a UK gambler is not required to pay any tax on the winnings made from sports bets, sports bettors enjoy an incredibly progressive atmosphere. This contributes even further to the popularity of sports betting in the country, making it an enjoyable past-time that can also line your pockets if you’re lucky enough. Today, the UK sports betting market value is estimated to be worth £650 million and currently generates over £14 billion in annual gross gambling yield.
We cannot deny the fact that Europe is the hub of gambling in today’s world, and the countries listed above have taken the lead mainly because of the relaxed gambling laws. However, several other countries are marching towards the top, including the likes of Malta, Cyprus, Romania, and Sweden. Recent statistics indicate an increased pursuit of online sports betting platforms by locals, meaning that these markets are poised for a brighter future for sports betting.