The Optimal Markets for Opening Gaming Sites in 2024
The gambling area is one of the most promising industries. Every year, the capitalisation of the field increases by an average of 11%, despite pandemics, recessions, and global cataclysms.
The Online Casino Market company offers an overview of the most promising regions for investing in the gambling sphere. We will consider changes in the legislation, the introduction of innovations, and tax initiatives of countries.
This market is the cradle of gambling. The first entertainment options appeared here: dice among the ancient Romans, roulette in France, etc. Gaming traditions have developed for centuries, making the industry interesting and profitable.
In 2024, investments in the European iGaming market are associated with such technologies:
- artificial intelligence;
- virtual and augmented reality;
- big data;
- blockchain, and other IT solutions.
They improve the user experience, simplify the management of an iGaming start-up, and increase the profitability of the business.
According to the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), the industry’s capitalisation amounted to €108.5 billion at the end of 2022. In just a year, GGR (gross gaming income) in Europe grew by 23%. Experts predict an increase in the market for 2024 another 17%.
The driving force of the region's gambling economy will lie in:
- the implementation of IT innovations;
- favourable political environment;
- high level of the population’s income;
- active digitalisation of the gambling area.
The main advantages of the solution are as follows:
The gaming field is legalised in almost all countries of the continent. Some jurisdictions allow all types of gambling (casinos, bets, lotteries). At the same time, other territories focus only on particular directions.
Local authorities are constantly working to improve legislation. In Germany, for instance, online casinos have been permitted to operate throughout the country since 2024. Although before that, it was possible to place bets only in one federal state
Active use of innovations
In 2024, the British provider Playtech introduced the Ada universal chatbot based on artificial intelligence. A few years earlier, the Swedish company Evolution Gaming added NFTs to their proprietary bonus program.
Innovations are also introduced at the government level. For example, blockchain transactions are allowed in the United Kingdom. The revenue is subject to income tax during the exchange of digital units for fiat currencies
High level of earnings among the population
European citizens make good money. As a result, they spend significant amounts in online casinos, poker rooms, and bookmakers.
Gamers are happy to spin slot reels at medium bets. There are also many high rollers and professional tournament players in the EU
Centuries-old gaming traditions
The world's largest casino complex is located in Monte Carlo ( the South of Europe). It attracts gamers from all over the world. One of the oldest establishments in the world is in Baden-Baden, a popular resort in Germany.
In the UK, betting on horse racing and sweepstakes is very popular. The country hosts world-famous competitions — Royal Ascot, Grand National at Aintree Racecourse, Epsom Derby, and others
Consider promising countries for investment:
The island state is rightfully considered the gambling Mecca of the EU. The country was the first in the European Union to legalise gambling, streamline the issuance of licences, and invest in the construction of large IT hubs and data centres.
In 2022, the income from the gambling industry amounted to 13% of Malta's GDP. The government actively contributes to the growth of the sector, including through stable legislation, minimal fiscal burden, and the construction of modern IT infrastructure.
At the beginning of 2023, over 400 iGaming companies have been registered in Malta. These are organisers of gambling activities and lotteries, as well as casino software manufacturers.
Most firms are not aimed at the domestic market but at work in the European region. The reason for this choice is quite simple. The availability of a Maltese licence allows an operator to accept bets in the EU legally, on a site with a .com domain address.
Why Malta is a great choice to invest in the iGaming industry:
- all types of online and offline gambling are allowed;
- low taxes;
- transparent licensing procedure;
- powerful iGaming community;
- stable economic and political environment.
The local market is one of the most promising in Eastern Europe. The total GGR is about €900 million per year, given that all types of gambling are legalised in the country.
Many European providers have received a Romanian licence and opened representative offices here, for example:
Permits are issued by the ONJN (Romanian National Gambling Office). The regulator gives out three types of licences:
- for B2C companies (casino and bookmaker operators);
- for B2B providers (software manufacturers);
- for owners of lottery sites.
The cost of permission, as well as the amount of annual licence fees, depends on the type of document.
The country has an average level of taxes according to European standards. Entrepreneurs pay 23% of GGR, but not less than €120,000 per year. In addition, operators put into the treasury 2% of bettors' deposits and 1% of their winnings.
The Scandinavian market is famous for centuries-old gambling traditions, stable legislation, and a high level of income among the population. Sweden is a key gaming centre in the region. It is characterised by well-thought-out Responsible Gambling and Fair Play policies.
The leading developers of casino games are based in this country:
The Swedish regulatory commission (Spelinspektionen) issues licences for various types of gambling, including the organisation of gambling activities and the development of casino software. Conducting lottery draws, accepting bets on bingo and keno are given to the state monopoly — the company Svenska Spel.
The market is considered one of the most promising for launching start-ups and scaling businesses. For now, gambling is allowed only in some jurisdictions. However, local authorities are working on legalising gaming throughout the region.
Latin America is home to developing economies. Experts predict the rapid growth of the industry, given its huge labour and technological potential. By the end of 2026, LatAm GGR is expected to increase by 126% to $100.6 billion.
Consider why it is worth investing in the region's gambling sector:
- Active support from the state. The governments of the leading countries (Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, etc.) are working on reforming the gaming field. Gambling is already allowed in other jurisdictions (Argentina and Colombia). Operators launch modern start-ups and get stable profits there.
- Demand for digital games. Land-based casinos and bookmakers are not as popular as online gambling projects. Gamers prefer to bet online on slots, bingo, and keno sites. Betting on Sports and eSports is also popular.
- Low competition in the field. It is explained by the fact that the market is still little explored by foreign partners. The legalisation of gambling in many countries is at the final stage. After this, cash flows will massively flow into the country, as expected. For entrepreneurs, this is a great chance to launch profitable iGaming start-ups in the emerging market.
The most promising jurisdictions in the region:
This is the leading gaming economy in the region. All types of gambling are allowed in the country.
At the end of 2022, the GGR of Colombia amounted to $300 million. The state’s income (taxes, fees, duties) was $175 million. In this regard, the government plans to further develop the entertainment market by reducing tax rates and building powerful data centres.
Licensing is handled by the state commission Colijuegos. The Authority also has a monopoly on horse race betting
In 2022, the country's gambling sector generated $2.4 billion in revenue. Its part was redistributed to social needs (health care, sports development, etc.).
In Argentina, all types of gaming are legalised. The functions of the regulator are given to local authorities. Each province puts forward its requirements for applicants and sets the level of taxes and fees. The metropolitan sector is most in demand among operators
The well-known offshore zone does not issue gambling licences. However, it allows gambling organisers to register on its territory. Companies can offer different types of entertainment solutions (slots, cards, bingo, and lotteries). The main thing is that they should not be focused on the citizens of the country.
Over 450 web gaming start-ups are registered in Costa Rica. Investors are attracted by minimal taxes, the loyalty of local authorities, and a developed IT infrastructure
All types of gambling are legal in this country, with the exception of bets on horse racing and fantasy sports. Entrepreneurs can manage gambling portals with a .com or .pa domain address. Moreover, the authorities allow up to five sites with the prefix .pa under one licence.
The jurisdiction is in demand due to the low fiscal burden. Operators pay only 10% of GGR. Taxes on dividends, withdrawn capital, and real estate ownership are not provided at all
The gambling sphere in this country is closely linked to tourism. These two directions have been developing since the 70s of the last century. They provide stable revenues to the budget.
The government allows all forms of gaming except virtual sports betting. The cost of a licence is the same for all types of gambling — $230,000.
The turnover tax is 10%. In addition, entrepreneurs pay $3 for every $300 they earn. Money is invested in the state's infrastructure and the development of telecommunications networks
Asia is a diversified and densely populated region with a well-developed economy, tourism, and IT sector. It is also a market of contrasts. In some states, the gaming sphere is growing rapidly (for example, in China, the Philippines, etc.). While in others, the field is strictly prohibited (for example, in Indonesia).
According to analysts' forecasts, by 2025 the capitalisation of the Asian market will reach $145.5 billion.
Stable growth is explained by the popularity of casinos, lotteries, and bets among the population. Even in Japan, which is notable for its strict regulation of the gambling area, gamers annually spend about $40 million on foreign sportsbook services. In other developed states (China and Singapore), the amounts are even higher.
The main strong points of the solution are as follows:
- Striving for market liberalisation. The authorities of Thailand, India, Vietnam, and other countries are working on this issue. Updated licensing rules will help attract foreign investors. In practice, this means a reduction in tax rates, the issuance of preferential licenses, and the joint construction of entertainment centres and related infrastructure.
- The popularity of Internet gaming. Offline clubs are based in major tourist centres — Macau, Singapore, etc. There are also floating casinos in the Indian state of Goa. The Internet sector, on the contrary, is evenly distributed throughout the region. Gamers like online slots, live dealer games, poker, bingo, keno, and other entertainment options.
- Active digitalisation of the economy. Information technologies penetrate all promising industries, including the gambling field. Providers are implementing AI, blockchain, VR and AR, and other developments to improve the user experience and increase the profitability of iGaming sites. Asia is a leader in the use of cryptocurrencies as a payment method in casinos. Blockchain transfers are in demand in India, Georgia, the Philippines, and other countries.
Consider several promising countries of the Asian region:
The state occupies a leading position in the growth of the industry and attracting foreign capital. However, unlike the well-known gambling zones of China and Singapore, in the Philippines, the main investments are related to the online sector.
The country is divided into two gaming areas:
- Freeport Cagayan Special Economic Zone (CEZA). Land-based casinos and betting shops are allowed here. The industry is designed for tourists. Operators can take advantage of preferential fiscal rates and tax holidays.
- The mainland controlled by PAGCOR. The state body issues licences for all types of gambling, including online and offline areas. Most operators are registered in Manila. The largest casino complexes are also located in the capital (Casino Filipino, Solaire Resort and Casino, and City of Dreams Manila). Live 24/7 games are broadcast from these establishments.
The Philippines offers an average cost of a licence according to European standards — $40,000 for issuing and renewing a document. The country provides low taxes. Entrepreneurs pay 5-10% of GGR. Licence fees and tax on withdrawn capital are also implied.
The PAGCOR licence allows operators to conduct online business in several countries legally. The main condition is the fact that the legislation of the partner countries should not prohibit accepting bets with international permits. According to this feature, the Philippines is often equated with popular offshore zones — Curacao, Alderney, and the Isle of Man.
Many European providers have obtained a local licence and opened offices in the Philippines:
The largest live suppliers from Asia are also based in the Philippines. These are n2-LIVE, IDNPlay, HKB Gaming, and other famous brands. They offer live roulette, poker, Sic bo, baccarat, blackjack, and other live entertainment options.
All types of gambling are allowed in this country: land-based casinos, bookmakers, poker rooms, eSports betting sites, and Internet lotteries.
Gambling is an important part of the Georgian economy. At the end of 2022, the sector grew by 23% and became one of the most promising areas for investment. The field is developing in parallel with tourism. Large entertainment complexes with comfortable hotels and modern gambling zones are being built in the mountainous and coastal parts of the country.
The amount of licence fees depends on the location of a land-based casino or the place of an online company’s registration. The highest rates are provided in the capital region.
The income from casinos (offline and Internet projects), bookmakers, and sweepstakes are subject to a 10% tax. Entrepreneurs pay real estate fees (1% for land-based clubs), and payroll deductions.
Consider the benefits of working in Georgia:
- good potential for business growth and scaling (given that gambling is prohibited in neighbouring countries — Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Armenia).
- clear regulation in terms of advertising and access to casinos by minors;
- loyal fiscal burden;
- well-developed IT infrastructure.
This market is considered one of the most lucrative in the long run.
At the moment, 50% of the market is in the grey zone. It is not controlled by law in any way. The authorities are working on presenting a new regulatory framework to legalise the industry. Companies are expected to be granted tax breaks and investment licences. Land-based and online casinos are expected to be opened across the country.
At the beginning of 2024, gambling is allowed in several Indian states:
- Daman and Diu.
Entrepreneurs can invest in floating casinos that are common in southern India and the resort state of Goa. Skill-based games, for example, poker, are legalised throughout the country.
Users prefer local payment methods, as well as cryptocurrency transfers. The popular types of entertainment content include digital slots, games with live dealers, card solutions, and multiplayer fishing. The activity of lottery operators is allowed throughout the state.
Until recently, the continent was considered an economically backward market with poor ROI and minimal opportunity for businesses to scale. In the last 10 years, everything has changed dramatically. Large investments are coming to the region. A well-developed telecommunications network is emerging. The legislative framework is changing.
A special feature of Africa is a different attitude towards iGaming in countries. Gambling flourishes in the southern, western, and central parts of the continent. While in the northern territories (mainly in Muslim countries), bets are strictly prohibited.
Local gamers prefer to play at the minimum limits ($1-2 per spin). However, this is compensated by a large number of bets.
The main strong points of the solution are as follows:
- Low competition in the field. The industry is just gaining momentum. It has room to grow. Entrepreneurs have to invest to increase income in the future. There are not many legal operators in Africa. Therefore, the market is considered very promising.
- Minimum taxes. The fiscal burden on business is set at 8-10%. Some countries provide higher taxes, while others offer lower fees. The government is working to attract foreign capital, for example, through the provision of tax holidays.
- The demand for online casino services. Most Africans prefer to make bets online. This is much easier and more convenient. They can withdraw their winnings quickly and activate slot reels again.
Here are some promising countries for casino businesses:
The state is a leader in the development of the iGaming sector. All types of gambling are allowed here. Over 40 casino and bookmaker operators are officially operating in South Africa.
The registration and issuance of permission are handled by the National Gaming Board. The level of taxation varies by province. Casinos pay 9–14.5% of GGR and bookmakers deduct 6–6.5%
The Gambling Board issues licences for Internet casinos, bookmaker's offices, and lottery sites.
Tax rates are the same throughout the country — 25% from GGR and 15% from winnings (the amount is withdrawn from a gambler’s prize)
All types of gaming are available in one of the most densely populated countries in Africa. There are two regulators in the jurisdiction: NLRC (lottery operators licensing) and LSGA (issuing permits for casinos, sports betting, and poker projects).
The cost of a licence depends on the chosen gambling area. It starts from $4,000 per year. The owners of online casinos and bookmakers pay more. The tax rate is the same for all business participants —– 20% of GGR
The industry is developing at an active pace. New regions and directions for investment are emerging.
- The European market is showing impressive growth rates. The capitalisation of the field is explained by the introduction of information technologies, changes in legislation, and an increase in the income of users. Gaming is legal in almost all EU countries. Malta is the leader in attracting investments.
- The Asian region is at the stage of full market liberalisation. The Philippines and India are promising countries in terms of launching internet casinos. Good conditions for the development of iGaming start-ups have been created there, including access to modern IT infrastructure.
- In Latin America, gambling is allowed in Argentina, Colombia, and Peru. Many companies are registered in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Offshore zones offer minimal taxes, site management in the .com domain zone, and quick licence issuance.
- In the African market, the leadership is held by 3 countries — South Africa, Tanzania, and Kenya. The region provides low competition and the demand for wagering on the Web.
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