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December 16, 2023

How Many Online Gambling Sites Are There? Not Too Many Good Ones

The digital age is reshaping our leisure choices, and online gambling is becoming a global sensation. As of October 2023, approximately 127.8 million people worldwide are engaged in online gambling. Experts anticipate this number will grow to 233.7 million by 2027.

Growing user numbers and the COVID-19 pandemic have fostered online venue growth. But the question remains: How many online gambling sites are there, and how can you discern which ones are worth visiting?

In this article, we’ll explore the statistics that define the internet betting industry and the trends shaping this dynamic landscape. We’ll also help you find the best online casinos with competitive campaigns, exciting games, and guaranteed security.

How Many Online Casinos Are There in the World?

The global online gambling industry has thrived since the 1990s due to expanding internet access. As of 2023, there are 4,792 online casinos worldwide, which is a 6.1% increase in numbers from the year before.

These venues offer diverse gambling experiences to suit different user interests, as outlined below. 

  • Online Slots Sites—They offer a visual spectacle with their diverse selection. The games feature different themes, like ancient civilizations, greek mythology, and blockbuster movies, for example
  • Poker Sites—These sites provide the ultimate venues for strategic players. Most poker sites offer variants, which include the straightforward No-Limit Hold’em and the complex Pot-Limit Omaha
  • Live Dealer Casinos—They feature real dealers who interact with players via live streams. You get the feel of a physical casino without leaving your home
  • Sports Betting Sites—They are a perfect fit if you’re a sports enthusiast keen to put your knowledge to the test. These sites cover various sports, from soccer and tennis to golf and basketball. Some offer in-play betting, allowing players to adjust their wagers during games
  • Bingo and Lottery Sites—They offer bingo games with different themes and sizable jackpots that bring instant gratification

Many of these online casinos are versatile and offer more than one type of gaming experience. For example, a site may specialize in slots but also offer impressive poker and lottery selections.

Gambling Sites Count by Region

Source: Dapple-designers

Europe, North America, Africa, and the Middle East have the highest number of registered businesses offering online betting. See the precise numbers in the table below:

RegionNumber of Businesses Offering Online Betting
Europe3,211
North America2,884
Africa and the Middle East373

North America leads in user penetration, with a projected 82 million players in 2023, constituting about 14.3% of the region’s population. Europe follows with 46 million users, or a projected penetration rate of 6.2%. Africa is expected to have about 58.4 million people who gamble online, representing a modest projected user penetration rate of 0.4%

These variations stem from differing internet access. Europe and North America have high internet penetration rates, both standing above 90%, while stats from 2021 show that about 33% of Africa’s population has internet access. Smartphone usage shows a similar trend, accounting for lower user numbers in Africa.

The Middle East is the toughest to penetrate due to widespread gambling bans in most of the region’s countries.

Some of the Middle Eastern countries that prohibit online gambling are:

  • Iran
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Yemen
  • Algeria
  • Jordan
  • Bahrain
  • Saudi Arabia
  • The United Arab Emirates

In some of these countries, you may still access foreign gambling sites and place wagers, but the chances of getting scammed are higher, and players gambling from there may get arrested if caught. In Iran, gambling attracts a prison sentence of up to two years, while in Bahrain, the penalty includes imprisonment of up to three months or a fine of 100 Bahraini dinars. 

Regulation of Existing Online Casinos

Source: 3D Animation Production Company

Most of the 4,792 online gambling sites are international and regulated by multiple jurisdictions. For example, a business may offer online gambling platforms in Ontario, Canada, under an Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario licence and do the same in the UK under a UK Gambling Commission licence.

Other reputable online gambling regulators are:

Regulators ensure that online venues are trustworthy and use secure systems to store players’ data. To verify the legitimacy of a site before playing, do the following:

  1. Check the footer of the site’s home page for the licensing details
  2. Go to the licensing authority’s website and look for a section labelled “Verify Licence”, “Search for Licence” or any other clues that will open a page where you can see the online casinos registered by the authority
  3. Type the casino’s licence number if there’s a form that requires it and click “Search” or “Verify”
  4. If the search shows the casino’s name, it’s legitimate. If the results show a different organization’s name, research it further to determine if it might be the casino’s parent company

How Much Money Is the Online Gambling Industry Worth?

Source: Besteonlinecasinos

The global online gambling industry is predicted to reach $95.05 billion in terms of revenue in 2023. Statista projects that this number will grow by 8.54% annually, reaching $131.90 billion by 2027. This significant financial growth is linked to the increase in the number of online gambling sites—more casinos means more players can engage, creating an upward trajectory.

Other factors favouring growth include the increasing internet penetration, the proliferation of smartphones, and strict regulatory frameworks that protect players. 

The average revenue per user (ARPU) is predicted to reach $540 in 2023, rising steadily before stabilizing in 2027. Below, you’ll find a comparison of the predicted market worth of online gambling in different countries:

CountryPredicted Market Worth (Revenue) in 2023
United Kingdom$12.83 billion
United States$19.14 billion
Canada$3.69 billion
Australia$10.30 billion
Italy$2.91 billion
France$3.79 billion
Germany$5.11 billion
Sweden$1.63 billion

US vs Canada Online Casino Trends

The U. and Canada are dominant players in the online wagering space. According to Statista, the US online gaming industry is predicted to reach $19.14 billion in revenue in 2023, accounting for about 20.14% of the projected total global worth. 

Statista projections also show that about 76 million people in the US will gamble online by 2027, and the projected ARPU for 2023 is $395.40, showing that online gambling is popular in the country.

Canada has the highest player penetration rate—a staggering 34.1%. The Canadian internet betting industry is projected to generate $3.69 billion in 2023—about 3.88% of the global revenue. The ARPU is predicted to reach $174.80, which is anticipated to grow as Canadian authorities introduce more laws that promote safe gambling.

Who Gambles Online and Why?

Online gambling appeals to a dynamic consumer base. Youth aged 25–34 form the largest customer segment since they’re tech-savvy and have high disposable incomes. Players in the 35–44 age group form the second-largest clientele.

The older generations have also demonstrated adaptability to new technology—they constitute a significant user base. The following table shows the games that appeal to these age groups:

Customer Age GroupGames That Appeal to the Age Group
25–34Sports betting and live dealer games
35–44A mix of both live and traditional games
45–64Poker, roulette, and blackjack

In terms of gender, about 45% of online casino users are women, and 55% are men.

The main factors that make online gambling popular among these groups are:

Online Casino vs Mobile Casino Statistics

Source: UK Gambling Commission

Mobile phones are the primary devices for accessing online betting sites. UK Gambling Commission data reveals that in 2019, 50% of players used smartphones for this purpose, a substantial increase from 23% in 2015. 

Other popular devices include:

  • Laptops
  • Desktops
  • Smart TVs
  • Tablets

Here are the percentages of users per device:

DevicePercentage of Users (2019)
Smartphone50%
Desktop26%
Laptop38%
Smart TV2%
Tablet16%

The smartphone is popular due to its greater portability and the emergence of casino apps that make placing wagers child’s play.

What Are the Statistics of Winning in Online Gambling?

Success in online gambling relies on understanding the odds—statistics hint at your chances of winning. While the likelihood of a win is low for some games, the allure of potentially winning big keeps players coming back for more, resulting in a growing number of casinos worldwide.

The main statistics used in online gambling are:

  1. Return to player
  2. House edge

Return to Player

Return to player (RTP) is the average amount of money a casino gives winners after a long period. The RTP is the collective payout rate for all players, not a guarantee of individual returns. Your results may vary, but this metric provides an overall picture of potential winnings.

For example, assuming that three players bet a total of $1,000 on a particular game with an RTP of 97.56%, they might eventually win $500, $400, and $75.6, totalling $975.60 (97.56% of their total stake).

Here are the RTPs for renowned games:

Casino GameReturn to Player (RTP) %
Slots90–98
Craps95–98.6
Baccarat98.76
Blackjack98.5–99
Video poker95–99.5
Casino poker95–98
American roulette97.3
European roulette94.74

House Edge

House edge is the percentage of your wager a casino retains in the long term. A high house edge means a lower RTP. Here are the house edges for the games above:

Casino GameHouse Edge (%)
Slots2–5
Craps1.4–5
Baccarat1.24
Blackjack1–1.5
Video poker0.5–5
Casino poker2–5
American roulette2.7
European roulette5.26

These stats are based on long-term gaming and aggregate for all players—they don’t guarantee a win in a game. 

What Are Some Winning Strategies in Online Gambling?

To win at online casinos, you need the right strategies. Some helpful tips include the following:

  1. Master the rules of the game
  2. Play games that require skills
  3. Play games with high RTPs
  4. Bet responsibly

Master the Rules of the Game

Mastering game rules prevents errors that make you lose. Casinos can refuse to release winnings if you violate their rules, so read their Terms and Conditions before playing.

Frequent practice at online demos or with friends can help you familiarize yourself with specific game requirements and improve your skills. 

Play Games That Require Skills

Play casino games that need your mental skills to increase your chances of winning. Games like slot and roulette are luck-based, and the house has a higher edge. 

Skill-based games allow you to adjust your strategy during gameplay, reducing the casino’s advantage. Here are some of them:

Play Games With High RTPs

Higher RTPs favour players in the long term, so go for craps, baccarat, and blackjack, since they have the highest rates. Do background checks to ensure the casino you’re interested in is legit—some fraudsters use high RTPs to lure players.

Bet Responsibly

View gaming as a healthy pastime, not a source of income. Unregulated gambling is risky and can lead to financial problems. To bet responsibly, do the following:

  • Play at a registered casino
  • Set a reasonable budget
  • Avoid chasing losses
  • Take a break when necessary  

Legitimate Gambling Sites in Canada

Choosing from over 4,000 casinos can be challenging, so we’ve highlighted ten top operators for your convenience. Here’s the list:

CasinoLicencesGateway
UnibetSGA
MGA
UKGC
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Dream VegasMGA
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Casino ClassicMGA
UKGC
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PokerStars CasinoMGA
SGA
UKGC
AGCO
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These casinos undergo independent audits by organizations like eCOGRA, iTech Labs, Gaming Laboratories International (GLI), Technical Systems Testing (TST), and BMM Testlabs,  ensuring fairness and data security. 

They also encourage responsible gambling through self-exclusion programs and offer hotlines you can call if you need counselling regarding gaming.

Featured image source: Besteonline casinos

Tuomas Laine

Navigating offers and finding the best, Tuomas is our dedicated Casino Bonus Hunter

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