The influence of religious authorities in Western societies has long contributed to a prohibitive policy towards gambling. However, morals evolved, and technologies have allowed this industry to take a new turn, opening the door to online gambling. It has undergone a major evolution in recent years, allowing the sector to grow by almost 10% per year.
Online gambling began in the mid-1990s. But many countries have slowed down the expansion of the sector, mainly for ethical reasons. A restraint that not all territories have had. Indeed, while the Channel Islands, Gibraltar, Antigua and Barbuda and the Isle of Man saw an economic opportunity, others were afraid of losing control over addiction and taxation.
But over the last ten years, a movement towards greater flexibility has emerged in several countries: France allowed sports betting and card gambling in 2010 (online casinos remain illegal), Spain legalized the majority of gambling in 2012. In 2019, seven US states and Switzerland passed laws in favor of legalizing online gambling. This trend is expected to continue over the next few years, allowing this market, whose revenues are estimated at more than $50 billion a year, to keep growing.
However, these legislative developments risk increasing the market's demands for transparency and security. Although this phenomenon could lead to the disappearance of some players, it should also encourage innovation and merger/acquisition processes, leaving investors with multiple opportunities to grow their capital.
Moreover, the transformation of our societies towards a model that is increasingly connected should benefit the sector, away from brick-and-mortar casinos. In particular, the progress of virtual reality will enable players to access an increasingly immersive experience, while the explosion of eSport in recent years should give bookmakers the opportunity to target a new clientele.
Here is a list of the different players in the sector. It is designed to give you a glimpse of what's going on in the world. You can then bet on your right horse, using our Stock Screener to customize this list according to your investment criteria.