US and Spain gambling markets: a comparison

USA & Spanish national flags side by side

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In the rapidly evolving world of online gambling, understanding the nuances of different markets is crucial for operators and enthusiasts alike.

To shed light on the unique characteristics and regulatory frameworks of the Spanish and US gambling markets, we invited Vlad Lazurchenko, a product manager at, to share his insights.

This article delves into a comparative analysis of two prominent markets — Spain and the USA.

We’ll dig into the key differences between the Spanish and US gambling industries, exploring the competitive landscape, market dynamics, regulatory frameworks, and market trends shaping these dynamic markets.

Stay tuned for a comprehensive overview of the opportunities and challenges facing operators and players in both regions.

Spanish Market: A regulatory overview

Spain boasts a well-established and regulated online gambling market that has witnessed significant growth in recent years. The country’s regulatory body, Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), oversees the licensing and regulation of online gambling activities, ensuring a safe and secure environment for both operators and players.

Legal Age 18 years old
Legal Gambling Activities Online casinos, sports betting, and poker
Controlling Bodies The General Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling Activities (DGOJ)
Taxation Online gambling in Spain is subject to taxation as per the applicable regulation.

The Spanish market is characterised by a diverse range of online gambling offerings, including

  • sports betting,
  • casino games, and

With a clear regulatory framework in place, operators in Spain are required to adhere to

  • strict guidelines regarding player protection,
  • responsible gaming measures, and
  • anti-money laundering protocols.

Notably, the Spanish market has seen a steady increase in revenue generated from online gambling activities, reflecting the growing popularity of online betting among Spanish consumers.

Gambling Market Value in Spain

In 2024, the predicted revenue for the online gambling sector is set to hit a substantial $1.97 billion, with an expected 4.96% annual growth rate for the period from 2024 to 2029, reaching a market volume of $2.51 billion by the end of 2029.

The online sports betting market is forecasted to reach a market volume of $0.94 billion in 2024, while on a global scale, the United States is expected to lead in revenue generation with an estimated $23,030.00 million in 2024.

The average revenue per user for the online gambling industry is anticipated to be around $0.60 thousand in 2024.

Furthermore, the user base for online gambling is projected to grow to 4.0 million users by 2029, and the user penetration rate in the online gambling market is forecasted to be 6.9% in 2024.

US Market: Dynamics and Opportunities

In contrast, the US market presents a unique landscape shaped by a patchwork of state-by-state regulations governing online gambling and sports betting.

While the US has seen a significant shift towards legalizing online gambling in recent years, the regulatory framework varies widely across different states, leading to a fragmented market with diverse opportunities and challenges.

States like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Nevada have emerged as key players in the US online gambling market, paving the way for a more regulated and competitive industry.

The State of the US Gambling Market

The online betting industry in the United States saw a rise in its market size, reaching 9.5 billion dollars in 2021, marking an increase of 0.8 billion from the previous year.

In 2021, about 10% of U.S. adults engaged in weekly online or in-person gambling, leading to the market increase from 8.7 billion to $9.5 billion.

Online sports betting is poised for substantial growth in the upcoming years, with expectations of online sports bettors growing from 19 million in 2022 to 23.1 million in 2026.

The size of the US online gambling market is projected to be around $5.12 billion in 2024, with anticipated growth to approximately $10.98 billion by 2029, showing a compound annual growth rate of 16.52% throughout the forecast period from 2024 to 2029.


The US online gambling market is well-established, with both domestic and international companies competing. Key players in this industry include

  • 888 Holdings PLC,
  • William Hill PLC,
  • Eldorado Resorts Inc,
  • MGM Resorts International, and
  • Cherry Gold Casino.

These major companies are pursuing mergers and acquisitions to expand their market presence and offer a wider range of options to consumers.

Additionally, there is a focus on investing in research and development to create more user-friendly online gaming experiences.


The demographic makeup of casino visitors in the U.S. showed that the majority fell within the age groups of 50–64 (33%) and 65+ (25%), with 21% between 35–49.

Individuals between the ages of 21–49 make up the largest demographic of casino visitors at 54%, shedding light on the age groups most attracted to casinos.

Over 50% of U.S. adults visited a casino in the year 2019, emphasising the strong appeal and engagement of the American population with casino entertainment.

Consumer’s Inclination Towards Gambling Culture

Commercial gaming in the US generated approximately USD 52.99 billion in revenue in 2021, a nearly 77% increase over 2020 due to COVID-19 shutdowns, showcasing the deep-rooted nature of gambling in American culture.

Millennials and Gen Z individuals contribute significantly to US betting trends, with 48% of millennials and 36% of Gen Z having wagered exclusively online based on a study by LaneTerralever and Jefferies in 2022.

Gambling Activities Types

In 2012, various types of gambling activities were popular among American adults, including

  • the lottery (53%),
  • casino gambling (32%),
  • casual betting with friends (26%), and
  • poker (12%).

Looking at service usage in December 2021, DraftKings emerged as the top choice for sports betting in the U.S., captivating 51% of regular sports bettors.

Las Vegas Revenue

In 2019, the casino industry in Las Vegas brought in revenue of approximately $6.6 billion, showcasing the economic impact of this iconic gambling destination.

U.S. Casino Gross Revenue

The gross gaming revenue of U.S. casinos was approximately $41.7 billion in 2019, underlining the industry’s significant financial contribution to the economy.

Commercial Casinos

As of 2019, there were 465 commercial casinos in the United States, indicating the widespread presence and popularity of these establishments.

Final Words

Both the Spanish and US markets offer unique opportunities for online gambling operators, each with its own set of regulations, market dynamics, and growth potential.

The Spanish market, with its well-defined regulatory framework and steady growth, provides a stable environment for operators looking to establish a presence in Europe.

On the other hand, the US market presents a dynamic and evolving landscape, characterized by regulatory diversity and rapid expansion.

With a growing number of states legalizing online gambling and sports betting, the US market offers a wealth of opportunities for operators willing to navigate the complex regulatory landscape.

In terms of market volumes and the number of online casino operators, Spain boasts a mature market with a diverse range of operators catering to Spanish players.

In comparison, the US market is still in the early stages of development, with a growing number of operators entering the fray as more states embrace online gambling.


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