According to a report on Yahoo Finance the European online gambling market is growing and the UK is leading the pack. H2 Gambling Capital predicts that there will be rapid growth in Italy, France and Spain that could leave the UK behind. Since the Gambling Act of 2005 came into force in 2007 the UK has become the most open gambling market in Europe. Today Great Britain is one of the largest and longest established legal online gambling markets on the planet. Players in the UK have greatly benefitted from one of the safest online gambling environments in the world.
The liberal stance taken by the UK government has greatly increased player numbers and has helped the UK to become the frontrunner in terms of revenues generated by online gambling. In 2009 only 5.6% of the British population had taken part in online gambling but by 2010 the figure had risen by 32%. In contrast the number of internet users taking part in social networking had only risen by a mere 4.5% during the same period. Player spending on internet gambling in the UK has grown by £1.7 billion per year and accounts for about 18% of all gambling revenues in the UK. Experts say that spending on internet gambling will hit over £2 billion this year.
Proposed legislation in the UK continues to influence market forecasts and many analysts are paying close attention to plans to tighten up regulations and new tax policies. The UK now has a ‘point of consumption’ tax for offshore operators who moved out of the UK for more favorable tax regimes in other countries. Although they were allowed to take wagers in the UK and advertise if they were on the ‘white list’ they paid no taxes to the UK government. Operators licensed in the UK say this puts them at a competitive disadvantage since they must pay a 15% tax. Online bingo operators are forced to pay even higher tax rates and have asked the UK government to reconsider its tax policies towards online bingo.
The European Union’s parliament has repeatedly called for a harmonious approach to regulation across member nations. Some European countries, most notably Germany, ban online gambling. Gaming experts say that online gambling across the globe is set for further growth year on year. In 2012 operators discovered the advantages of social gaming and mobile gaming is now a force to be reckoned with. The European market is currently valued at EUR24.6 billion and experts say that figure will rise to EUR32 billion by 2015.