iGaming in Europe: What Country Gambles the Most?

If you are not new to the online casino gambling arena, you have already noticed one thing that stands out. The most recognized regulatory agencies are based in Europe. The top picks are the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).

iGaming has serious roots in the EU, and the gross gambling revenue (GGR) recorded from European countries is enough to boost certain economies! Another point: place your bet on the continent where the top auditing firm, eCOGRA, whose certificates you could definitely see while playing on Vulkan Vegas and other online platforms, is headquartered. If you said Europe or guessed the EU, then you’re right! Now that you have a slight grasp of how much betting goes on in Europe, wouldn’t you like to know which countries contribute the most? Let’s explore!

Top Gambling European Countries

Europe is regarded as one of the most, if not the most, popular continent for gambling. We all know that many EU countries follow the United Kingdom’s lead, so when the latter passed legislation legalizing gambling within its borders, many others followed suit. From Spain and Italy to Germany and the Netherlands, betting is now a part of citizens’ lifestyles. But what country gambles the most?

Let’s not leave it open to speculation. Here’s the list of the states:

  1. United Kingdom;
  2. Germany;
  3. France;
  4. Italy.

Join us to explore what betting looks like in each of these countries!

United Kingdom

The UK is often number one in most European nations, so it’s no surprise that it holds the number one position for spending. The UK gambling industry is legalized but heavily licensed, protecting players as much as possible. Here’s the first shocker: about 43% of the UK population gambles. That’s about 29 million individuals! No wonder the GGR was about €13.7 billion in 2022, adding up online and offline gameplay, minus lotteries. By March 2023, participation in online iGaming had climbed by 78.4% compared to April 2020.

Data shows over 32 million have active online gaming accounts in the region. Statistics from BeGambleAware show that over 420,000 Brits lose more than €2,300 annually. According to The Guardian, about 3%, nearly 1.4 million, of adults in the UK are problem gamblers, and up to 7% of adults have reportedly been affected by other people’s addictions.


The German gambling industry recorded a gross annual revenue of €13.2 billion in 2021, double that of the alcohol industry. This statistic tells us a lot about the kind of gameplay in the country. In 2019, Germans accounted for 11.4% of the total GGR spent in the continent, amounting to €2.8 billion. Following the legalization of online poker and slots in 2020, German players can now enjoy online access to slot games, poker, and sports betting, increasing their activity and GGR of the country. A survey by Goldmedia on 400 existing players offers more insight into how much Germans gamble. The report showed that 12% play daily, 32% play slots online weekly, and 65% actively gamble on mobile.


According to the Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), a new regulator implemented in 2020, betting in France exceeded €1.18 billion by H1 (the first half of the calendar year) 2023, a 10.1% year-on-year growth. An interesting thing about betting in France is that the activity isn’t always taxed. Winnings are only taxable once a gambler profits over €1500, at which point they must pay a 13.7% tax rate. Even with this, the 2023 GGR for the country is reportedly €747 million, a 13.8% increase from 2022. With the implementation of advanced technologies in gambling markets, such as blockchain, virtual reality, and 3D animation, French players spend more than €270 on annual gameplay. Unlike in other countries where the common age for gambling is from 40 to 55, statistics for 2021 show that over 60% of French gamblers are between 18 and 24.


The Italian gambling market boomed in 2023, exceeding its valuation of about €316m, recorded in December 2022. The county’s illegal betting market records over 1 billion Euros annually. According to data from Statistica, Naples delivered the highest GGR, sitting at over 111.1 million Euros for only sports betting between January and October 2023. A crackdown on the black market in the past year has also triggered more earnings, boosting the economy through taxation and job creation.

Navigating the European iGaming Horizon

One thing is certain from our exploration. Gambling is extremely profitable; otherwise, governments across these European countries wouldn’t legalize the activity. The good thing is that alongside these legalizations, various steps together with features are implemented to curb addiction and protect citizens.

While you enjoy this fun pastime, ensure you take advantage of these steps and play with caution. The government agency in your jurisdiction provides several responsible gaming features and resources. You’ll be wise to use them.