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The world is now chock-full of progressive and well-regulated iGaming markets, with the UK and Ireland offering two prominent examples.
In Ireland, there’s absolutely no doubt that frequenting a casino online is becoming increasingly popular, whether this is through a desktop device or a smartphone (we’ll touch a little more on this later in the piece).
In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the key statistics and trends that define the iGaming market in Ireland, while appraising the size and scope of this industry in the wake of the coronavirus.
- The Shift Towards Online Gambling in Ireland
Across both the UK and Ireland, the latest statistics show a clear and exponential shift towards online gambling.
Of course, many will argue that this trend has been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic and the closure of brick-and-mortar casinos nationwide, but there’s no doubt that iGaming has evolved to claim a larger share of the overall marketplace for a period of years now.
More specifically, nearly half of all wagering activity was conducted online through 2020, up significantly from just over a third (36%) in the previous year. This is considerably higher than the corresponding number across Europe as a whole (where 26% of all gambling is carried out online), as Ireland banked £40.6 million in remote betting receipts and doubled the previous year’s online yield.
In Ireland, sports betting remains the single most popular online gambling vertical, accounting for approximately 41% of the market and raking in an estimated £10 billion in 2019 alone.
So, even as the world returns to normal and coronavirus restrictions are removed through 2021, iGaming verticals will continue to become increasingly dominant in Ireland and the UK.
- Irish Gamblers are Big Spenders and Amongst the Biggest Losers
The growth of iGaming in Ireland continues to be driven by huge demand and the traditional Irish love of gambling, with this borne out by statistics concerning individual losses recorded per annum.
More specifically, 2020 saw Irish gamblers lose a cumulative total of £1.36 billion, averaging a whopping £300 for every single adult.
Make no mistake; this makes the Irish the fourth-biggest gamblers in the European Union, according to the very latest industry figures.
Globally, Ireland ranks 14th for the average highest losses when wagering online, just ahead of the UK and behind Finland (£342 per adult), Malta (£334 per adult) and Sweden (£325 per adult).
Of course, such losses may be of concern to some, but they certainly highlight the appeal of wagering and sports betting in Ireland, while also reaffirming just how accessible the practice is in the Emerald Isle.
It’s also interesting to note that the Irish spend considerably more than their UK counterparts when wagering online, with the average Brit betting barely £2.60 per week and a little more than £135.20 during the year.
- Irish Gamblers are Prominent and Increasingly Active While on the Move
According to a report conducted by Nottingham Trent University, Ireland is also home to one of the highest percentage share of gamblers in Europe.
More specifically, approximately 59% of Ireland’s 4.90 million population wager online on a regular basis, with this the eighth highest percentage on the continent.
Interestingly, this is a little lower than the corresponding rate of 69% amongst the UK’s 66.65 million population, while a staggering 87% of the 17.28 million people that live in the Netherlands gamble frequently.
The rise in the number of gamblers has also coincided with an increase in the prevalence of mobile gambling in Ireland, with even cheap and affordable smartphones now offering Internet access and the capacity to download apps.
Because of this, more than 44% of all online bets in Ireland are now made from a smartphone or tablet device, rather than desktop computers.
This trend is expected to continue on the Emerald Isle too, with mobile devices expected to account for almost six in 10 of all online bets placed in Ireland by the year 2025. This will mean that online and mobile gambling will finally supersede brick-and-mortar venues in the next four years, even as the world recovers from the impact of Covid-19.