2017 Regulatory Framework for Online Gambling Increases Optimism in the Legalisation Process
Gambling in its broadest sense has been subject to the most stringent regulations since the dawn of time. This is especially true of its iGaming variant, which has now surpassed traditional methods of gambling as the most popular way to gamble. It was only natural for gamblers to gravitate toward a market that was easier to access, faster, and provided greater anonymity.
On the other hand, the same could be said of criminal organizations, for whom the open nature of the internet provided an infinite number of opportunities to defraud unsuspecting players. According to the story, internet gambling encountered numerous roadblocks on its way to gaining the legitimate legal recognition it deserves.
As a result, it is illegal or completely ignored in the majority of the world’s regions. Despite the oversight, the number of loyal customers of this establishment grows daily, to the point where they now make up the vast majority of the gaming community worldwide. Their call for a safer virtual world could not be ignored, leading to much-needed improvements in the international legal framework, but more importantly, a shift in public perception.
Online Gambling Regulations Are Being Considered Throughout the World
For the first time, Europe saw several significant regulatory innovations in 2017. Several states in the United States also joined the movement, and in an unexpected display of liberal principles, they introduced beneficial reforms to their previously restrictive gaming legislation.
As the ever-increasing number of people willing to bet at any virtual casino that will accept their money demonstrates, the unyielding approach to outlawing all forms of online gambling has had little to no effect. Furthermore, prohibitions have only resulted in the unsettling rise of the black market, resulting in the unavoidable loss of vast sums of money to criminal organizations.
A sense of urgency should be inferred from this information alone, but we must not lose sight of the fact that protecting the interests of consumers is the primary focus of our social obligation.
The status quo had to change, and while the process is painfully slow, it is encouraging to see that some of the countries with the strictest market regulations are beginning to show some interest in the idea of regulated markets.
Changes in the United States Online Gambling Market
Before recent developments, New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada were the only states in the United States with some form of legislation in place to govern internet gambling. Since the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006, the fight for free market access has been raging, leaving the United States of America, the land of the free, befuddled and disillusioned. California and Pennsylvania have demonstrated a strong commitment to ushering in a better era for gambling enthusiasts, and both states have been working on their respective legislatures with promising results.
The real surprise came in May of 2017 when the Illinois Senate unexpectedly voted to approve a bill legalizing internet gambling as well as fantasy sports. It is undeniably a significant step forward for the entire country, even though the new policies still have a long way to go in terms of practical implementation.
The EU is currently conducting an evaluation
One of the most recently discussed topics in the European gaming industry has been compliance with EU regulations. The European Union is dedicated to the ideals of free trade and the unrestricted movement of commodities among its member countries. Several countries, however, continue to maintain a government monopoly on internet games.
Because so many states have their distinct perspectives on online gambling, which are, for the most part, in direct opposition to one another, harmonizing the regulations into a single, well-functioning, and cohesive unit has proven exceedingly difficult. If this is accomplished, it will put an end to illegal casinos, improve the effectiveness of regulatory agencies, and raise the bar for the quality of services provided by licensed operators. On the other hand, the current regimes that are steadfastly maintained across the continent show that very little effort is being made toward this goal.
The German market is in disarray and can be described as a vast area of uncertainty in which nothing can be said to be certain. Schleswig-Holstein, a tiny northern province, is the only one that regulates online gambling and issues licenses for casino games, sports and horse race betting, poker, and bingo. This is also the only province that allows bingo. Despite this, the licenses obtained through this regulatory body are set to expire in 2018, with no provision for renewal.
Only Fintoto Oy, Veikkaus Oy, and Raha-automaaatiyhdistys, which are directly owned by the Finnish government, are permitted to provide gambling services to Finnish citizens. Marketing restrictions and ISP blocking are both effective in discouraging foreign enterprises from operating in the country.
In March of 2017, Sweden submitted a proposal for a new licensing system in response to intense pressure to update its gambling regulations. However, the act does nothing to advance the cause of online gambling, particularly on websites based in other countries. The proposed law appears to only serve to strengthen the existing monopoly over horse racing and lottery, the only two categories open to private operators for licensing. This is because horse racing and lottery are the only two categories available for licensing.
Ireland is one of the few countries that has made significant progress, but it is not alone. They have only recently implemented a stringent licensing system that is subject to frequent revisions. The government is working to improve a variety of parts of the legislation, with a particular emphasis on improving customer protection measures, certain components of the permit application process, and the taxing system.
The Italian government has committed to issuing up to 120 new licenses to private businesses in 2016. The country’s completely regulated gambling products market is thriving, with all forms of gaming permitted and regulated. Italy’s goal is to create a market that is not only the largest in Europe but also one of the safest and most successful in the world. Even though its application procedures have been halted, the future appears to be bright for Italian players.