Online gambling has been around for a few decades now. Ever since first online casinos emerged back in the 90s, the iGaming industry has been growing at an exceptional rate. And, while this growth has its positive sides, there are definitely some negatives that need to be discussed.
One of the biggest issues that’s been in the focus lately is legalization of online gambling or, more precisely, putting internet gambling inside a legal framework. While there are many arguments for and against this, the practice shows that those countries that have actually legalized online gambling have done well for themselves.
Is Legalization a Good Thing?
Often, when there is talk about regulating online gambling, people have initial negative thoughts. They see it as a way for the state to restrict their playing options, impose taxes, and in general exercise a higher degree of control over their lives. However, by focusing on the negatives, actual benefits of legalization are pushed aside.
Countries with online gambling laws have strict procedures in place when it comes to determining who can receive an operating license. This helps get rid of dishonest businesses and provides players with the selection of trusted and reputable businesses to choose from. This is important, as these operators adhere to strict rules when it comes to handling your private data and they won’t just ignore you when you want to withdraw your winnings.
Talking about taxation, good laws don’t necessarily have to hurt players, either. Many countries have arranged things so that the operator has to pay the extra cost of offering their services and this additional income is also a good thing. It cuts the casinos’ bottom line and instead pumps the portion of the money back into the local economy in a variety of ways.
Online Gambling Laws Across the Globe
There are around 80 countries around the world that have regulated internet gambling in one way or another. These laws vary from quite liberal, over unclear, to rather restrictive. Some of the best known examples used in this discussion are the following:
- United Kingdom allows remote operators to offer their services in the country. However, to do so, they need to acquire a license from the UK Gambling Commission. Rules for acquiring this license are quite strict, so players from the UK enjoy a great level of protection.
- In Germany, online gambling is illegal in most of the country. There is only one region, namely Schleswig-Holstein, where casino operators can legally offer their services.
- The battle for legalizing online gambling in the United States is ongoing. Several states have passed their own gambling bills but there is still no law on the federal level. Current laws mostly deal with money processors and restrict them from knowingly facilitating any gambling-related transactions.
- Australia doesn’t allow online gambling anymore. However, the law in place only applies to operators. Players from Australia aren’t breaking any laws by playing at an online casino that chooses to ignore the law and offers its services in the country.
There are also many other European countries that have put online gambling in the legal framework. Some of them only allow state-operated casinos, maintaining the state monopoly over gambling. These types of monopolistic laws are often challenged as they go against certain free trade rules in place in the EU.
Looking at a Big Picture
One of the most important things about these gambling laws is for lawmakers to approach the issue from different aspects. Often, they’ll only focus on the potential income from regulating online gambling but will fail to see things from the operators’ or players’ points of view, leading to some strange stipulations and restrictions.
While there are no perfect laws and every law needs to be reviewed and amended from time to time, legalization of online gambling is generally a positive thing. The quick growth of the iGaming sector has led to many questionable practices that have become commonplace and that hurt players on many levels. Setting up a solid legal framework helps deal with many of these issues.
At the end of the day, everyone is happier to play at a casino where they know their sensitive personal information is kept safe and their money won’t just disappear overnight. As long as lawmakers take time to properly address the issue of regulating online gambling and consider all parties involved before making final decisions, it can only be a good thing.