Online Gambling Market: New Markets Disrupt Global Online Rankings

Daniel Stone


November 15, 2023

Ontario and the Netherlands broke into the top ten regulated online gambling markets in the world during the first half of 2023, with North American states and provinces now accounting for half of the global top ten.

According to Vixio GamblingCompliance analysis, emerging markets Ontario and the Netherlands were the fastest risers in a global ranking of regulated online markets by scale in the first half of 2023, rising from 11th to sixth and 13th to tenth places respectively since 2022.

The commercially-licensed Ontario online gambling market recorded net gaming revenue (NGR) of C$1.07bn in the first half of 2023 and has since breached C$2bn in annualised NGR over the course of the 12 months to September 2023.

Market size total necessitates a degree of upscaling to account for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), the online operations of which are excluded in iGaming Ontario’s reporting, and achieve consistency with the gross revenue reporting of most other major markets.

Adjusting for this, Vixio GamblingCompliance roughly estimates that overall Ontario online GGR reached US$1.28bn in the first half of 2023, leapfrogging the regulated markets of Germany, Sweden, New York, Michigan and, potentially, France in the process.

Ontario’s transition from a crowded, mature grey market to a European-style competitive framework now spanning 47 operators distinguishes the province from its U.S. forebears, where legal online gambling has remained mostly limited to sports betting, licences are less abundant and market shares generally less fragmented.

Product-level data broken out by iGaming Ontario since the start of this year shows that the provincial market has become more gaming-led in nature since its first full year of operation, with casino games and poker driving 78.1 percent of commercial online NGR in the third quarter versus 69.4 percent in the year ending March 2023.

The Dutch online market, which launched six months prior to Ontario in October 2021, has similarly grown quarter-on-quarter amid outsized growth in online casino revenue and meaningful expansion in the number of operators active in the regulated system.

Overall online gambling revenue in the Netherlands reached €692m in the first half of 2023, up by 42.7 percent year-on-year and 15.3 percent versus the €600m yielded in the second half of 2022.

As a result, Vixio GamblingCompliance estimates that the Dutch market overtook Germany, Sweden and Spain to reach tenth place in the global comparison and a lofty fourth place in a ranking of regulated European online markets within two years of launch.

Europe, which remains the epicentre of regulated online gambling globally and is projected to yield total online GGR of just over €30bn in 2023, was again home to the top two markets globally in the UK and Italy, but has seen its number of constituents in the top ten halve from eight in 2019 to four in the first half of 2023.

The rise of Ontario and the Netherlands has solidified a trend, fuelled primarily by the rise of state-level regulated online gambling in the U.S., of emerging markets disrupting the previously European-centric market size rankings since 2019.

Four U.S. states, three of which are home to legal iGaming and online sports betting, figured among the world’s ten largest regulated online markets in the first half of 2023, with the entry of Ontario meaning that North America has now overtaken Europe as the predominant continent within that top ten.

At a national level, the U.S. overtook the UK in online market size terms during 2022, emphatically delivering on its promise to become the largest regulated online gambling market in the world within four years of the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

Gross revenue from U.S. online sports betting alone is set to blaze past $10bn this year, complemented by projected iGaming GGR of around $7bn, yielded largely from just three major states: Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Michigan.

Further disruption to the established order can be expected in the medium term, with 2024 launch candidate Brazil expected to become a multi-billion-dollar regulated online gambling market by 2026, according to Vixio’s interactive Latin American Online Forecasting Dashboard.

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