The Evolution of Gaming and Gambling Culture in Europe and the Future Trends

gambling culture

Gaming has boomed among Europeans, especially youngsters during the pandemic, with many Europeans self-reporting spending an average of eight hours more per week than watching TV or playing video games, highlighting how gaming culture has become an integral part of their lives. EU gaming market is estimated to be 22 billion in 2021, having grown 55% since 2014. Europe is home to some of the biggest gaming companies in the world including Ubisoft, Bungie Inc., the NineHertz, and more. Gaming culture is only expected to grow as metaverse and online casinos become more common, and more providers make their way into the arena to attract more players. Globally, the gaming industry is worth nearly three times the box office for movies. When it comes to gambling, the “Gem of the Baltics” – Latvia, has one of the largest gambling markets in Europe. offers best online casinos in Latvia like Olybet, William Hill Latvija, Klondaika, Vulkan Vegas, and Laimz Kazino offering an abundance of casino games and gaming activities to the players in the country and from all over Europe and the world at large. 

Online games are just the most successful entertainment medium of our time, and have established themselves at the very heart of European popular culture. By the end of 2021, Western Europe was home to almost 209 million mobile gamers that generated $7.2 billion in revenue from consumer spending in 2021, excluding ad revenue. Video streaming providers are taking note of the entertainment value by projecting live games on the screens, and have made it convenient for fans to access esport content at their own convenience. Some of the most popular esport brands in Europe whose sports are enjoyed by a large number of people include Mercedes-Benz, Mastercard, Gucci, BMW, and TAG Heuer.  The player can bet on many sports including football, basketball, and tennis. The number of gamers in Europe is expected to continue to grow, and hit over 367.4 million by 2025. 

Gaming culture is alive and well in Europe

The gaming culture is alive and well in Europe, with many providers having servers dedicated to Europeans. The three Baltic countries viz. Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania, have legalized online gambling. Latvia is a promising online gambling market that has seen significant growth at the expense of land-based gambling sites. Latvia adopted its first gambling law in 1993 that allowed land-based casinos to offer gambling services to the players in the country. In 2003, the country passed its online gambling law, allowing operators to provide online gambling services.

As new providers entered in the online gaming marketplace in the country that generated excellent revenue for the government, additional amendments to the law on Lotteries and Gambling were made in 2006, 2013, 2015, and 2016. According to the law of the land, online game services providers must possess a gaming license issued by Latvian Gambling authorities.  

What is the gambling scene in Latvia Like?

Gambling is completely legal in Latvia, this includes both online and offline forms of gambling. Online casinos in Latvia offer a broad range of popular games including slots, blackjack, poker, baccarat, and roulette. Latvian players mostly spend their time at the online venue spinning the reels. All that a player has to do is place the bet, set the reel in motion, and let the software do the rest. Online blackjack is great for beginners as the rules can be mastered easily and quickly. The players can also employ some basic strategies and use a cheat sheet to play the right move every time. Another popular choice in online casino games for Latvians is baccarat. Some may argue that baccarat and online blackjack are same as both involve playing cards with a goal to bet the dealer. However, the difference lies in the score, in blackjack, players have to score a hand total of 21 instead of 09.

Other games popular among Latvian players include video slots, progressive jackpots, poker, craps, roulette, and scratch cards. Roulette, which means “Little Wheel” originated in Latvia. The game was later adapted in the 18th century in the US where it became very popular. Now, we also have French Roulette variation of the game where the rule requests that half of the player’s even-money wager be refunded if a zero appears. 

A variety of bonuses, deposits and withdrawal options for players 

The players can expect to get a variety of bonuses while playing at online casinos. Welcome Bonus that could double or triple the bankrolls of players up to a certain maximum amount is usually offered to all new players. Free spins are often offered as part of the welcome bonus, or standalone promos. No Deposit Bonuses also tend to appear from time to time. Latvian casinos offer a variety of methods of deposits and withdrawal of funds through eWallets, credit cards, and banks, and other e-payment solutions like Neteller, Skrill, PayPal, and ecoPayz. 

The current state of online gaming and online gambling in Latvia is better than in most countries of the world, as the players can enjoy online games by the top providers, such as Microgaming, NetEnt, Bet365, Evolution Gaming, and Big Time Gaming. Foreign operators can acquire a license to operate a casino in Latvia while keeping their foreign headquarters, so a boom is expected in the near future. The country has many blacklisted casinos that do not have a Latvian license. However, playing at a foreign site is still possible through non-blacklisted sites and VPNs, and many Latvians do so on a daily basis.

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