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The online gambling market has been one of the world’s
fastest growing sectors over recent years, estimated to be worth
over $60bn in 2021.
Over recent years, however, such growth has seen a partial trend
reversal due to new challenges and considerations. Increased
regulatory pressure, added licensing requirements coupled with an
overarching lack of harmonisation, enhanced anti-money laundering
requirements, growing demands for safer gambling, advertising
restrictions, stricter aff ordability checks, stake and deposit
limitations, are all factors that take signifi cant resources and
squeeze remote gambling operators’ margins.
Couple these with the signifi cant fi nes imposed by gambling
regulators for compliance failings in major jurisdictions, the
unfair competition brought forward by unlicensed operators and the
rise of the black market, and it becomes clear how the factors
boosting industry growth over the past years are increasingly
mitigated by the heightened compliance and operational costs.
This is a trend that is thought will continue in the years to
come, however, as the online gambling industry continues to evolve,
new opportunities come into play. A key aspect operators are
capitalising on at the moment, particularly in the US, is the
convergence of gambling with the sports, media and video gaming
industries. Technological innovation, such as 5G networks,
metaverse, NFTs, VR/AR and immersive tech, as well as blockchain
technologies, are all expected to generate growth
As games change and we witness a convergence of spheres,
innovation can fall within grey areas, and this is where margins
can oft en exist. Whether margins can be retained in the future
will largely depend on the operational sustainability and the
industry’s ability to self-regulate. Certainly, operators must
act responsibly to ensure the sector has a sustainable future.
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