Betting contributes €300m to European sports, EGBA claims

29 November 2018

Major European gambling opeators are contributing more than €300m to sports and employing more than 30,000 workers across the European Union, new research from the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) claims.

The Brussels-based trade association said its operator members, which have a combined 12m active customers, employed 33,000 workers in 14 European Union countries. These companies also contributed €325m (£290m/$370m) in financial support to sports federations, leagues and clubs through sponsorship, advertising and media rights in 2017.

The report revealed that its members generated gross profits of $19.6bn in 2017, with this figure expected to rise to $24.7bn by 2020. 

EGBA secretary general Maarten Haijer claimed the continent’s major gambling groups are raising compliance standards to match this rapid growth in profits.

“Europe’s online gambling sector is a growing and popular form of digital entertainment – but with this growth comes responsibility to ensure that people are kept safe while playing on online gambling websites,” said Haijer, whose group’s members include GVC, Bet365 and Kindred Group.

EGBA members completed 56 licensing audits to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations during the period, and invested €22.6m in KYC checks, he said. They also processed 354m online payments over the course of 2017, with customers offered 31 different payment methods

EGBA said its members had an average pay-out rate of 93.06% for the year, with the average customer spending €10 each time they placed a bet, excluding pay-outs. On average customers placed a bet every 17 days.

Brands owned by EGBA such as Ladbrokes, Bet365 and Unibet are all major sponsors of sports leagues and teams across Europe. EGBA members are also major advertisers on TV and online throughout the continent, although GVC Holdings chief executive Kenny Alexander recently called for a pre-watershed ban on betting commercials in the UK.