COVID-19 continues to strike many regions. However, in comparison with the events of March last year, the situation in the world gaming market is relatively stable. The biggest losses in 2020 were incurred by operators focused on sports betting. Most global and local events have been cancelled. The owners of virtual bookmaker portals have tried their best to provide the audience with a decent selection of alternative competitions.

Online casino owners were in a better position. They managed to maintain a stable position and even get more opportunities for the development of their projects.

Online gambling in 2021: tendencies and expert opinions

Almost 50% of surveyed experts from Europe and the United States believe that today's virtual gambling environment is satisfactory. At the same time, about half of the analysts claim that the conditions are good. They are confident that the online space is ready for full-fledged work.

Let us study the peculiarities of the development of the gaming industry in 2021 by analysing current trends and statistical indicators.

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The Overall Climate within the Field

To explore the profitability and prospects of working in the virtual entertainment sphere, analysts and representatives of various areas of the gambling business were involved.

This approach made it possible to obtain the most objective results. For a better demonstration of climate change, indicators from December to March 2019 were considered. Besides, experts outlined the expected changes within the industry in the next 12 months.

Take a look at the figures obtained:
Assessment of the industry's climate
Assessment of the industry's climate
Assessment of the industry's climate
Assessment of the industry's climate
Assessment of the industry's climate
Assessment of the industry's climate

Here are the figures expected in the first quarter of 2022:

  • poor — 7%;
  • satisfactory — 31%;
  • good — 62%.

After examining this data, we can see how the prospects of the virtual gaming industry have grown since March 2019. Such positive dynamics and promising forecasts of experts testify to the strengthening of the position of online gambling in the global business environment.

An Overview of Highly Thought Products

What gambling solutions will be relevant in 2021? Even though the overall situation within the industry will improve significantly, the demand for certain products will remain approximately the same as in 2020. Nevertheless, specialists forecast a slight increase in the popularity of some mobile services, for example, lotteries and bingo.

Analysts also talk about the likelihood of a rise in demand for products with crypto-currency payment modules by 14%. Nonetheless, everything depends on the value of Bitcoin and other digital currencies here.

The Situation in the Mobile Services Market

Most online projects consider mobile traffic to be their main source of income today. Moreover, some operators have switched exclusively to an audience using portable gadgets.

The brightest example of a company focused on mobile traffic is the Swedish provider Betsson. It is the largest operator of betting and casino services around the world. About 75% of the brand's annual revenue comes from smartphones and other pocket devices.

Talking about the prospects for 2021, specialists notice that the level of the segment's lucrativeness will be 75-80%.

Let us consider the leaders of the mobile betting industry in different countries:


The most popular betting apps for smartphones

United Kingdom

Bet365, Skybet, Paddy Power, William Hill, Ladbrokes


Svenska Spel, ATG, Bet35, Unibet, Oddset, 888sport, Betfair


Tipico, Bwin, Bet365, Betway, Bet3000, Betano, Interwetten


FunDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Barstool, PointSbet, Fox Bet, Bet 365

The situation in the casino application industry looks as follows:


The most requested mobile solutions

The United Kingdom

Bet365 Games, William Hill, Virgin James, Paddy Power, 32 Red


Casumo, Svenska S Poker, Mr Green, 888, Betsson, Unibet


Partycasino, Botemania, Bwin, William Hill, Betway, Casumo


DraftKings, BetMGM, PokerStars, 888 Casino NJ, Borgata, Rush, Parks Casino

The Peculiarities of Online Marketing

Online marketing in 2021: peculiarities

The promotion of projects on the Internet is a critical tool for attracting an audience.

The main directions of promotion in 2020:

  • social media marketing (YouTube, Facebook and Instagram);
  • SEO optimisation;
  • affiliate services.

Business Promotion on Facebook

Social networks are excellent platforms for popularising various entertainment start-ups. The effectiveness of promotion on Facebook is estimated by the number of likes.

When examining the 2021 prospects, analysts determined the average amount of likes for the first quarter on the pages of popular projects — about 962 thousand.

User sympathies are divided among the largest market players as follows:

  • PokerStars — more than 2 million likes (+1.5% compared to the previous year);
  • Bet365 — 1.9 million (+0.7%);
  • Paddy Power — 1.5 million (the amount is equal to the indicator of the previous year);
  • Unibet — about 900 thousand (+0.8%);
  • William Hill — 850 thousand (+0.2%);
  • Bwin — 810 thousand (-1%);
  • Betfair — 655 thousand (+1%).

Marketing Activities on Instagram

This website also turned out to be quite effective, based on the data of the previous year and the figures characterising the first quarter of 2021. In this case, the number of followers was analysed. The average figure is 103 thousand users.

Here is the market leaders' top list:

  • PokerStarts — 714 thousand (+3.7% compared to the previous year);
  • Paddy Power — 176 thousand (+0.4%);
  • PartyPoker — 66 thousand (+4.9%);
  • Betsafe — 45 thousand (-2.1%);
  • Bwin — 27 thousand (+0.4%);
  • Unibet — 27 thousand (+0.6%);
  • Betsson — 24 thousand (+3.2%).

The Popularisation of Brands on YouTube

In the case of this online resource, the researchers decided to analyse the number of subscribers of popular gambling companies. As a result, they got an approximate average figure of — 112 thousand users.

Look at the most successful YouTube channels:

  • PokerStars — over 1 million subscribers (+7.8% compared to the previous year);
  • Bwin — 83 thousand (-0.1%);
  • Betsafe — 63 thousand (+2.7%);
  • Betfair — 34 thousand (+3.3%);
  • William Hill — 20 thousand (+1%);
  • Ladbrokes — 5 thousand (-0.9%).

The Features of Affiliate Marketing

This type of promotion deserves special attention. It is considered the most effective in the global industry today. Cooperation with such large platforms as Affiliate Guard Dog, AskGamblers, Gambling Affiliation, Wettbasis, Olbg, and others brings entertainment brands a steady flow of user traffic and increases profits.

The most advertised sites using partner platforms in Q1 2021:

  • LeoVegas;
  • Betway;
  • Unibet;
  • Betfair.

Let us take a look at the percentage of the efficiency of affiliate promotion of some brands in different countries:

The UK

The Effectiveness of SEO Tools

This type of promotion is the main method of attracting customers not only in online gambling but also in all industries operating in the Internet environment. Therefore, operators are investing colossal resources in marketing activities that help to increase the position of their websites in search engines.

The following brands are the leaders of effective SEO marketing:

  • Unibet;
  • NetBet;
  • Betway;
  • Bwin;
  • 888sport and 888casino;
  • Betfair;
  • LeoVegas;
  • William Hill.

Familiarise yourself with the ranking of some companies in different countries by the requested keywords.

Betting and casino projects in the United Kingdom (Q1 2021):

Bookmaker business

Online casinos

William Hill — 100

Paddy Power — 100

Paddy Power — 97

32 Red — 100

Betfred — 96

NetBet — 92

Batway — 92

888casino — 92

The statistics of companies in Germany:

Virtual betting

Gaming websites

Tipico — 100

NetBet — 100

Betway — 98

Hiperino — 82

Bwin — 87

Online Casino Dtld. — 73

888sport — 71

Stargames — 70

The situation in the Spanish market is as follows:

Sportsbook projects

Online casinos

Betway — 100

888casino — 100

Bwin — 71

Casino 777 — 70

Luckia — 59

Casino Gran Madrid — 66

Sportium — 56

Betway — 61

The most sought-after affiliate projects in Europe are:


The Most Demanded Areas

Find out which areas of the entertainment business are relevant this year.

Online Sportsbook Industry

Football betting has become the leader in the first quarter of 2021. This year was marked by many sporting events (compared to 2020). Therefore, soccer fans were very active. The most popular type of wagers is live betting.

The highly sought championships in the first quarter of 2021 were as follows:

  • Premier League (UK) — about 3.5 thousand bets offered by the operator per day;
  • Primera Division (Spain) — more than 3.1 thousand;
  • Bundesliga (Germany) — 3.2 thousand;
  • Ligue 1 (France) — over 4 thousand;
  • Serie A (Italy) —3.1 thousand.

The Popularity of Live Betting

Researchers explored offers from different operators that allow players to place bets during a match in different sports. This study was conducted in February 2021. The results were evaluated over 5 days.

The sociologists got this overall picture:

  • The average number of live events — 68;
  • Bet365 — 100;
  • Paddy Power — 81;
  • Marathonbet — 81;
  • Bwin — 81;
  • Betclic — 78;
  • 10bet — 77.

The experts also conducted a narrower analysis, aimed exclusively at football.

They received such results:

  • The average number of betting offers — 78;
  • Bet365 — 100;
  • 10bet — 95;
  • Betvictor — 89;
  • Betclic — 83;
  • Marathonbet — 82;
  • Paddy Power — 82.

The Assortment of Slot Games

Good operators always strive to provide their customers with as many products and services as possible. This approach to interaction with clients allows them to stand out from competitors, attract new users, and retain a promising audience.

The researchers decided to consider the example of two countries — Spain and Sweden. Slot games are in great demand in these markets.

In the first quarter of 2021, various casino projects in Spain presented to their customers an average of 374 slots.

The quantitative indicators of different operators look as follows:

  • Bwin — 954;
  • Casino777 — 678;
  • Luckia — 642;
  • 888 — 529;
  • Interwetten — 446.

The situation in Sweden in the first quarter of 2021:

  • The average number of games — 1,190;
  • Video Slots — 2,608;
  • Speedy Casino — 2,393;
  • LeoVegas — 1,757;
  • Guts — 1,638;
  • William Hill — 1,457.

The Regulation of the World Entertainment Market

Regulation of the gambling industry

A lot of countries are gradually legalising gambling activities. The legitimation of entertainment services allows states to obtain additional sources of investment.

For example, the revenues of the betting business in France in the 4th quarter of 2020 amounted to more than 350 million euros. Besides, the profits of the Spanish market made up more than 110 million euros.

The situation in the US regulated markets is also positive. The bookmaker business in New Jersey brought operators more than USD 150 million in the period under review. The online poker industry is also thriving. It is highly sought in France, Denmark, Spain, the USA, and other countries.

Explore the statistics of different regulated markets in more detail.

The Gambling Industry in France

The entertainment sector of this country has been actively developing since 2011.

The most demanded fields here are:

  • virtual betting business;
  • horse racing betting;
  • online poker.

In 2018 and 2019, the gaming industry has progressed quite steadily in this country. The first significant rise in profitability in this area was seen at the end of 2019. However, this fruitful period did not last long due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the second quarter of 2020. Nevertheless, after a few months, the situation stabilised. At the end of the year, experts noted a new growth in indicators.

Overall gaming industry’s profitability

Here are the statistics on licensed projects:

  1. 14 gambling companies with official permits are operating in France today.
  2. Licence holders have opened 28 virtual entertainment resources.
  3. There are 15 registered sportsbook projects within the country, 7 horse racing betting websites, and 6 online poker portals.

The most popular entertainment service in this state is betting on football matches. In Q4 2020, this segment covered over 70% of all wagers. At the same time, basketball fans made 7% of bets, and tennis lovers placed 13 % of stakes during this period.

This means that operators wishing to develop their businesses in this country should focus on the above areas.

The Gaming Business in Denmark

This market has been operating in the legal space since 2012.

The researchers decided to consider the three most popular industries:

  • online betting;
  • casino business;
  • poker and bingo.

All of these areas performed well at the end of 2020. For example, the revenues of the bookmaker industry increased by 19% (64 million euros) compared to Q4 2019.

The profitability of the casino business during this period was also very high. This figure has increased by 16% (86 million euros).

Such promising areas as poker and bingo showed the best results. Their level of lucrativeness increased by 23% (3 million euros).

While the industry was booming at the end of the year, the overall performance in 2020 was worse than in the previous year. This situation is directly related to the pandemic.

Here is the information on the key fields:

  1. The profitability of the betting business for the entire period of 2020 decreased by 9% (203 million euros).
  2. The lucrativeness of poker and bingo projects fell by 20% (12 million euros).
  3. The online casino industry was the only area to improve its performance by 6% (317 million euros) in 2020.

Compared to France, online business licensing in Denmark is at a higher level. The local regulator has issued 19 bookmaking, 29 casino and poker permits. 137 registered websites are providing various entertainment services within the country.

Here is a list of the most popular licensed gambling companies:

  • 888 Denmark Limited;
  • 25 syv;
  • AG Communications;
  • Apollo Entertainment;
  • Betfair International Plc;
  • Betway Limited;
  • Betsson;
  • Cashpoint Limited;
  • Casumo.

Quite simple permitting conditions, high profitability of the online industry and a stable economic situation make Denmark an excellent option for operators wishing to enter the promising European market.

The Entertainment Segment in Spain

Spain is known for its loyal approach to the operation of various entertainment projects.

The most popular segments here are as follows:

  • sports betting;
  • casino business;
  • online poker.

As with previous countries, the entertainment industry peaked in 2020 in the fourth quarter.

During this period, the revenues of the betting industry grew by 18% or 103 million euros (compared to Q4 2019).

The profits of the casino business increased by 35% (98 million euros). The slot games segment has raised its profitability by 54%. Roulette business became 39% more lucrative in the fourth quarter.

The online poker sector also demonstrated good figures. The industry has grown its revenues by 24% (25 million euros) in Q4 2020.

Over the entire year, the performance of the gambling industry has declined due to difficult external conditions. Nonetheless, the recession was not significant — only 3% (359 million euros). These figures testify to the stability of the Spanish market.

That is why famous gambling companies operate under licences issued in this country. According to May 2021 data, 78 betting and 69 casino permit holders are registered here. In total, there are 94 legal entertainment websites managed by 78 companies. They are aimed primarily at the domestic market and some other European countries.

The Situation in the US Gambling Industry

It is worth noting that not all states allow virtual entertainment projects. At the same time, some regions welcome this type of business and try to create all the necessary conditions for the prosperity of the gambling industry.

Let us take a look at the most promising American markets.

Online Gaming in New Jersey

This economic environment is quite young. It began its evolution in the legal segment only in 2018. In a fairly short time, the New Jersey gaming industry has shown impressive results.

It is noteworthy that even the pandemic did not bring negative consequences for local operators. The figures characterising the 4th quarter of 2020 are very high.

Familiarise yourself with the most demanded areas:

  • poker;
  • casino;
  • betting.

When comparing the indicators of the beginning of 2020 and 2021 (first quarter), we can see that the performance of the betting industry increased by 130% ($173 million). These are incredible results.

Other areas have demonstrated substantial figures too:

  • casino business — +84% ($303 million);
  • poker — +9% ($8 million).

About 55% of the market belongs to such projects as FanDuel and PointsBet. Other influential brands including DraftKings, BetStars, BetMGM, and Borgata also work here.

Strong profit margins, favourable economic conditions, and decent incomes of gamers make the entertainment industry in New Jersey amazingly promising in 2021.

The Entertainment Business in Pennsylvania

This is another up-and-coming American market. It was legalised around the same period as the New Jersey entertainment field (in 2017).

Here are some highly sought areas:

  • table games;
  • betting;
  • online slots.

As in the case of previous markets, analysts compared the performance of different segments in the first quarter of 2020 and 2021.

Betting business revenue grew 130% ($173 million). The profitability of the casino field increased by 84% ($303 million).

A larger share of the local business is owned by influential, experienced players — FanDuel and DraftKings.

Despite this, the market is open to new projects. At the end of 2020, a new operator, Barstool, entered the Pennsylvanian arena. It immediately occupied approximately 20% of the market. At the beginning of this year, another new player, BetMGM, appeared. In just a few months, it covered about 7% of the market.

Such data indicate the possibility of launching start-ups in this state. Of course, to obtain a licence and impress the demanding American public, you need to make a significant investment in your business. However, the result will please you.

The Prospects of the Colorado Market

Compared to other US states, this one provides fewer options for operators. The gambling business here was legalised only in 2020. That is why the industry has not developed here to the full. The only legal form of gambling is betting.

Despite these facts, the Colorado market has shown good results in terms of profitability for less than a year of its existence.

Specialists explored the potential of this region from July 2020 to March 2021. At the beginning of this period, the lucrativeness of the entertainment industry was estimated at $5 million. A slight decline occurred in September. Then the market began to evolve. In March 2021, the Colorado gaming business was valued at $21.4 million.

The Main Things about the Growth of the Online Gaming Field in 2021

Growth of the online gaming field in 2021

After analysing the examples of various European countries and American states, the experts concluded that the situation in the global entertainment market is gradually stabilising.

The period of the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 turned out to be the most difficult for the owners of gambling projects. The profitability indicators of many areas have dropped significantly. Nonetheless, after a few months, online projects were able to earn decent profits and even exceed the achievements of the previous year in some cases.

Undoubtedly, it is worth investing in the entertainment business in 2021 for the following reasons:

  • sharp rise in the industry’s lucrativeness in the first quarter of 2021;
  • constant expansion of regulated markets;
  • the possibility to get a prestigious licence.

If you want to open a successful start-up in Europe, we advise you to pay attention to such jurisdictions as Denmark, Spain, and France. If you are trying to enter the American market, analysts recommend working in Colorado, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. These states performed impressively in 2020–2021.

To start a prosperous project in any country, you need to enlist the support of professionals. 2WinPower has built an impeccable image in the world business arena.

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