Euros and Ascot point towards record-breaking user growth for UK gambling industry

A new analysis of sports betting apps on the Google Play Store by app growth solutions company, SplitMetrics, predicts that the sector may see its strongest ever month in terms of new users due to the Euros and Royal Ascot coinciding.
SplitMetrics found that the UK’s other major horse racing events – The Grand National and Cheltenham – led to download numbers increasing by an average of 69% in the week leading to the races. On average new download numbers in 2024 for the UK’s top 17 gambling apps on Android were 79k per week, however, the Grand National saw 124k and Cheltenham 143k – the highest download weeks of the year by a considerable margin.
Similarly, the first week of World Cup 2022 saw 122k downloads – with 369k recorded over the course of the tournament.
The gambling industry as a whole has seen a strong start to the year with downloads up by approximately 30% compared to 2023.
These factors could combine to see the UK’s top seventeen gambling apps registering their largest month on record and, with the Olympics still to come, put the industry on course for its largest year of growth ever.
The top 17 sports gambling apps analysed through the App Radar by SplitMetrics platform, experienced an approximate 15% increase in Android downloads in the two weeks running up to the start of Euro 2024 (3-16 June 2024) when compared to the same period in 2023 (110k vs 96k downloads).
The apps that added the most Android downloads in those two weeks are bet365, Sky Bet, Paddy Power, Coral and Ladbrokes.
Overall, sports betting apps reached an estimated 20 million lifetime downloads on 16th June 2024. These apps have gained an estimated 2 million new users in 2024 up until 16th June.
The top five apps in terms of lifetime downloads are bet365, Sky Bet, Paddy Power, William Hill and Ladbrokes.
Thomas Kriebernegg, General Manager, SplitMetrics Agency, said: “Our new study shows that major UK horse racing events lead to a dramatic increase in downloads for gambling apps – almost the same number per week as we see for huge global events like the World Cup.
“The combination of Royal Ascot, the Euros, and the high growth rate of the gambling app industry this year could combine into a perfect storm – generating unprecedented new customer numbers. With the Olympics also coming up, 2024 could easily become the biggest year for customer growth in the smartphone era.
“Each download represents a new user for these businesses which, if converted to long-term customers, would have a huge impact on their bottom line. An accessible and seamless user experience will be a big factor in whether these apps will be able to retain the new users and convert them into loyal customers.
“Big global events bring a lot of potential new customers to different parts of the app market but they also bring a lot of competition. Businesses that invest in smart, targeted marketing can differentiate themselves from their competitors. It’s also an opportunity for smaller businesses to punch above their weight and supercharge their growth.”