Betting and playing games at online casinos is fast becoming one of the most popular activities online. And now, a new forecast predicts that globally, the sector will rake in around $128 billion by 2026, through a combination of sports betting and playing poker, casino and lottery games via a growing number of websites.

“The online gambling and betting market is expected to witness a rapid growth rate during the forecast period due to regulatory environment, which in turn is expected to propel the global market across the globe,” says the report, from Transparency Market Research. “The global online gambling and betting market is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period,” it says.

This predicted rise in online gambling and betting is not only due to more websites offering such services, but also a growing amount of disposable income among players and increasing trust in digital gambling sites as they become more secure and offer better features, the report notes.

Betting Regions of the World

Most online gambling and betting is taking place in Europe, according to figures unearthed by Transparency Market Research, and last year was worth $23 billion across the continent. The report breaks down online gambling markets by region, the type of device a person is using — personal computer, tablet or mobile phone — as well as the kind of gaming they’re generally involved in.

For the purposes of this market research, the gaming type is segmented into poker, casino, social gaming, lottery, bingo, sports betting and fantasy sports. “Online casino and poker and lottery seems to be attractive owing to the increase in participation of consumers to earn rewards and offers,” the report says. A “rise in prevalence rate of online gambling is expected to boost social gaming, bingo and fantasy sports over the next few years. The global online gambling and betting market by gaming type is expected to be dominant by sports betting during the forecast period.”

Europe is followed in online betting and gambling — with many people using live casino reviews to choose the places they play and bet — by the Asia-Pacific region, North America, the Middle East and Africa and finally, countries in Latin America. The report notes that a strong regulatory environment in many parts of the United States is a primary reason for relatively low levels of user participation in games and betting, but says that this could change in the coming years as some online gambling rules in various states are eased.

More Mobile Gambling

Most online playing is currently taking place via desktop computers and websites, but this will all change as more people start to use mobile apps for gambling and betting as they increasingly become available from operators and transcend their websites, says the forecast. It projects growth in mobile gambling of around 16% year-on-year between now and 2026.

This is in line with the general trends away from PCs and towards mobile devices. The power of smartphones and their widespread use means more people are now accessing the internet via their phones and tablets, and using apps specifically created for them. In fact, there are about 2 billion computers in use around the world while by next year the number of mobile phones in use globally is seen rising to 4.68 billion.

Also forecast for the online gambling sector is the introduction of live streaming into sites and possibly apps, says an earlier forecast. “The immediate future of the global online gambling and betting market lies in the incorporation of online betting portals with live streaming of sports or games,” it predicts. “This caters to a growing demand by users for a real-time sports streaming as well as betting choice.”