Online casino gambling is a popular activity in many parts of the world. This is not a surprise when you consider the fun and convenience which playing classics such as blackjack online delivers. As with any vibrant sector though, the success of iGaming is only possible because of the various regulations which govern it internationally.
While specific laws may differ in various continents and countries, online casino guidelines are not only an important part of the industry but one that is hard to miss.
Why online gambling regulation is important
Perhaps the biggest reason that proper online gambling regulation is important globally is the protection it gives to players. This is because casinos which are regulated are bound to operate by strict laws which guarantee fairness. To be awarded a license to operate, online casinos will have to abide by these rules and provide provably fair games to consumers.
Online gambling regulation is also crucial because it gives players somewhere to turn if they experience any issues with the casino they game at. In these situations, iGamers can find out which body regulates the casino and contact them for help.
It must also be noted that strict regulation is a positive thing for iGaming in general. Regulating online gambling markets worldwide helps people to feel much more trust in them and enhances their public image in general. This allows more people to feel comfortable enough to try out online games and leads to more growth within the sector as a result.
A look at how online gambling is regulated around the world
Although regulation is something that all legitimate online gambling markets worldwide focus on, how this looks in practice can differ. This makes it key to always check the laws around online gambling where you live or when you jet off on holiday.
Below are some of the details regarding the gambling regulations in different parts of the world:
While the Federal Wire Act still means that online gambling in states which haven’t legalized the activity yet is technically illegal, more and more states are now launching their own legal, regulated iGaming markets. New Jersey was the trailblazer here and signed an internet gaming bill into law during 2013.
Since then, other states such as Pennsylvania, Delaware and Michigan have followed suit. The individual iGaming markets for each state are governed on a local level and leave each state responsible for the rules which casino operators in their borders must stick to. Each state is also responsible for awarding licenses to online casinos who meet their regulatory criteria.
Europe has long been a hotspot for casino play online and the best online EU casinos to game at show why. While the EU may provide some legal framework around iGaming for member countries to work from, each European nation tends to be responsible for their own rules and guidelines.
Switzerland for example operates a tightly regulated iGaming market which blocks overseas IP casino addresses and is watched like a hawk by the Swiss Federal Casino Commission. Malta on the other hand takes a more relaxed approach to online gambling regulation and makes all forms of online play fully legal.
Canadian online gambling laws have not always been the easiest to understand but this seems to be changing in modern times.
The key is knowing that Canadian law makes it illegal to operate a casino platform within the country without an official license. These were not easy to come by in the past though and this led to many Canadians playing at offshore sites which sat outside of Canadian legislation.
Recent times though have led to a real shift in online gambling regulation within Canada and the launch of Ontario’s legal iGaming market in April 2022. With more provinces in Canada expected to follow suit, regulated online gambling markets could means the country as a whole opens up to legalized iGaming on a local level.
If you like keeping up with the latest entertainment news, you will know what a hot topic online gambling is worldwide. But what do regulations around the sector look like in the UK?
Gambling online here is 100% legal and the UK iGaming market is one of the most highly regulated worldwide. Both local and international casino platforms can offer their services to UK customers provided they have a license to operate from the UK Gambling Commission. This body is responsible under the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 for awarding licenses to any platform that plans to be active in the UK iGaming market.
Australia and New Zealand
In Australia, the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act is currently the key piece of legislation. Under these rules, it is illegal for Aussie casino sites to offer anything other than sports betting or lotto games to local residents. As there is no specific law which stops Aussie players from using offshore gambling sites though, many people in the country choose to do this instead.
For New Zealand iGamers, The Gambling Act of 2003 is the main piece of legislation to note. It states that most forms of online gaming are illegal but that this is only applicable to operators based in New Zealand. This means many players from New Zealand use offshore casino sites to game at instead.
Asia is a huge continent with many nations who take a different approach to online casino play. India for example tends to let individual states set their own laws around online gambling and how it is regulated. This has led states such as Goa and Daman to launch a regulated and governed iGaming market.
Malaysia on the other hand made online gambling illegal under the Betting Act of 1953 but does not have a specific law which stops people in the country from playing at offshore casinos.
Due to this, it is common to see varying levels of regulation and various attitudes towards iGaming in Asia. With this in mind, it is key to check the specific legislation around online casino play in any Asian country you play from.
In general terms, gambling is a legal activity in many South American countries, and some countries in the region also allow people to play at foreign casino sites too.
Argentina is perhaps the best example of a fully regulated South American iGaming market and has passed laws to allow each province to operate their own online gambling market. Colombia is also a good example to note and launched its own legal, regulated online gambling market in 2016.
Despite this, you do have to be careful where you play online casino games from in South America and check specific national laws. Brazil, for example, only allows state sanctioned lotto games online, while Ecuador also takes the same approach.
Africa is perhaps the most exciting place next to South America when it comes to iGaming’s future.
South Africa is the nation which stands out most on the continent for online gambling and passed The National Gambling Act to make it a legitimate, safe activity. The National Gambling Board is tasked with keeping an eye on online casino operators in the country.
Aside from South Africa, countries such as Kenya, which passed a Gaming Bill in 2019 to regulate its online gambling sector, and Tanzania, which passed updated Internet Gaming Regulations in 2019, show how iGaming is becoming a more legal, regulated activity in Africa.
Online casino laws vary around the world
As the above shows, online casino regulation varies around the world which means different countries and continents take different views of how it should be treated. It is vital for any online casino player to recognize this and get up to speed with what regulations in their part of the world look like.