Online Gambling Regulation Around The World
Online gambling has never been more present all over the globe. However, there is no unique law which would regulate online betting in different countries. Each country has its own betting legislation and regulatory framework. As a result, betting legislation differs depending on the region. Things are even more complex with regular legal changes.
First of all, we will take a look at New Zealand’s legislation. According to the Gambling Act of 2003, online gambling is strictly prohibited. The prohibition applies to regional NZD casinos. It means that local players are allowed to use overseas betting sites.
Australia has regulated online gambling with the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001. Australian companies cannot offer betting services to local citizens. There are only two permitted activities: sports betting and lottery. Just like New Zealand’s punters, Australian players can enjoy overseas betting sites.
The United States of America passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006, which prohibited banks to process transactions between American residents and betting platforms. As a result, many gambling sites stopped accepting US gamblers to their platforms. Some of them still welcome US players as there is no strict prohibition.
The United Kingdom is one of the countries which completely legalized online gambling. Local and overseas websites can offer gambling services to UK residents. The only condition is possessing a UK Gambling Commission license. Thanks to its clear gambling regulation, the UK is an attractive market for betting operators with only one disadvantage – high taxes.
Russia prohibits all forms of online gambling. The country passed a law in 2006 which banned all sorts of online betting. The step further was taken when the country limited land-based casino operation to four zones. Later on, the national Supreme Court brought the ruling which entitled internet service providers to block websites operated by betting companies. Russia has also published Roskomnadzor list which included illegal sites in the country. As a result, many leading gambling operators virtually left the country.
Germany consists of 16 states which all have different online betting legislation. There is no unite regulation which would be compulsory for each state. In 2008, the country passed the Interstate Treaty which prohibited online gambling operations. Under the treaty, the only allowed activity was horse racing. Further on, casino gaming, sports betting, bingo, and the lottery was allowed on an offline basis.
European Unions started to examine online gambling regulation in the country shortly after the treaty has been passed. As a result, the European Court of Justice found out that the local gambling industry was monopolized. Schleswig Holstein was the first state which created a bill on online gambling operators. Within this framework, online casino providers were allowed to apply for the state license. Up to date, Schleswig Holstein has issued about 50 licenses for leading gambling operators including Bet365, Poker Starts and Betfair.
Online gambling operations are completely allowed in France. The country passed progressive law in 2009 and officially opened the doors to other EU countries. With enormous pressure from the European Union, France made the step further by passing the Gambling Act No. 2010-476. The act established the French Regulatory Authority for online games (ARJEL). The act opened the local market to competition all over the European continent. It also ended the government monopoly in the betting area.
The first contemporary online gambling law in Spain appeared in 2011. With the adoption of the Spanish Gambling Act, the country created a framework for online gambling operators licensing. Later on in 2012, the country adopted the Gambling Act which put the online gambling on the new road. Since its adoption, the country has issued more than 70 licenses to betting operators. At the moment, Spain is one of the countries with more than 50% of sports betting oriented players.
Over the years of operation, the country kept the online slots prohibition. It was only in late July 2014, when the country opened its market to online slots gamers.
Ministry of Finance is the main licensing body in Cyprus. Starting from 2012, the majority of gambling operators are in the group of bingo providers. At the moment, the country allows two sorts of online gambling including sports betting and lottery.
To come to the conclusion, we can observe that online gambling is subjected to different regulatory regimes. Some of the leading jurisdictions prohibit online betting operations including Australia, New Zealand and Russia. Other territories are familiar for unclear legislation, while the majority of European countries allow online gambling activities.