Online Gambling Law & Regulation: Facts, Figures and TrendsOnline Gambling
We usually gamble online without giving much thought to legalities, licensing, and regulation although these issues are of great importance.
Online gambling is still a rather young industry which is fast gaining popularity, and many governments still don’t know how to deal with it. Even countries that have legalized online gambling took a long time to realize that existing laws were outdated and to frame effective regulatory frameworks for online gambling.
What is Regulation?
Regulation refers to a set of laws passed by governments. The legislature passes proposed bills into laws that form the foundation for the establishment of regulatory bodies. The executive enforces and implements these newly created laws. It also forms and manages regulatory bodies and/or government agencies. The judiciary interprets the laws under various circumstances and settles disputes between the government and the defendants.
Why is Online Gambling Regulation Important?
Why bother about regulation? Why can’t we trust unlicensed and unregulated online gambling sites?
Online gambling regulation is important for the following reasons:
- Millions of players worldwide make real money deposits at online gambling sites run by companies they don’t personally know.
- Regulation lets customers know that they are doing business with a licensed and authorized business.
- Regulation ensures that the online gambling site is operating legally, in compliance with gambling laws.
- It also ensures that all gamblers are treated in a fair manner.
- It ensures that operators engage in ethical business practices.
- Regulation makes sure that operators take proper measures against fraud and money laundering.
- Licensed online casinos are required to keep their advertisements honest. Also, they have to make sure that their advertisements do not target underage individuals.
- Licensed online casinos are also required to protect player deposits and maintain the highest standards of transparency when it comes to payout percentages, gaming histories, and payment histories.
- Regulatory bodies force their licensees to comply with gambling laws and maintain the best standards of customer support, game fairness, and security.
- When you sign up at a licensed and regulated online gambling site, you can expect to be safe. Licensing helps you distinguish between rogue sites and legitimate sites.
Online Gambling Jurisdictions
Licensed online gambling sites are based in jurisdictions or countries or regions that have regulated online gambling. They operate under licenses granted by the online gambling regulators of those jurisdictions.
There are plenty of online gambling jurisdictions around the world, but not all of them are considered to be reputed. For example, online casinos licensed in Curacao are not considered to be as good as those licensed in the UK or Malta. This is because Curacao has relaxed online gambling laws and getting hold of a Curacao license is easier even for substandard companies.
A list of well-known online gambling jurisdictions includes Gibraltar, UK, Antigua & Barbuda, Malta, Alderney, and Isle of Man, to mention just a few.
Let us now examine how online gambling laws work in Sweden, UK, Denmark, and Netherlands.
Online Gambling Sweden
The Swedish Gambling Authority, Spelinspektionen, bears the responsibility of granting online gambling licenses and overseeing the regulated gambling market in Sweden.
Here is a list of its duties:
- Grant licenses for gambling machines, national lottery games, bingo games, and restaurant casinos.
- Ensure that gambling businesses comply with Swedish gambling laws.
- Provide information and training on Swedish gambling laws.
- Keep the government of Sweden informed on the latest developments in gaming markets at home and abroad.
There is a problem Spelinspektionen hasn’t solved yet: internet casinos without Swedish license with no Spelpaus & Trustly are getting more and more popular because they offer more attractive bonuses, free spins and higher deposit and withdrawal limits.
UK Online Gambling Laws
The UK’s approach to regulating its online gambling industry is accountable, consistent, and transparent. Online gambling sites can accept UK players only if they have received a UK gambling license under the UK Gambling Act. In order to retain their license, operators are required to strictly comply with UK’s gambling laws.
Here is how the UK regulates its online gambling industry:
- The UK Gambling Commission is the regulatory body that oversees all online gambling activities in the country.
- The regulator takes all the required measures to curb illegal activities and corruption in the online gambling industry.
- It clearly communicates its interpretation of various online gambling laws.
- It maintains a strong database of evidence and collects intelligence and information, on the basis of which it advises the government about regulatory issues.
- The UK Gambling Commission also works with other licensing bodies and gambling regulators and law-enforcement agencies.
Netherlands Online Gambling
The government of Netherlands established its gambling authority on April 1, 2012. It is an independent body that regulates and supervises online gambling activities in the country. It receives funds through taxes paid by licensed operators.
The Netherlands Gambling Authority has three major tasks:
- Prevents illegal activities and crimes in the online gambling industry and curbs problem gambling and addiction to gambling
- Keeps gambling consumers protected and informed
- Issues licenses to operators of online gambling sites
Currently, the authority supervises the country’s regulated land-based gambling market, which comprises 14 casinos monopolized by Holland Casino, charity lotteries, state-run lotteries, private operators of slot machine games in restaurants, bars, and arcades, and monopolies on horse racing, sports betting, and lotto.
At the time of writing, online gambling is not allowed in Netherlands. But the government approved a draft bill on online gambling on Feb 19, 2019. Soon, operators will be able to apply for internet gambling licenses in the country, but the number of online casinos no Cruks and license in Netherlands has raised during 2020, and more to come.
Denmark Online Gambling
The Danish online gambling industry is regulated by the Danish Gambling Authority, which is directly answerable to the Danish Ministry of Taxation. Here are some of its duties:
- Protect consumers from illegal and unfair gambling activities
- Oversee betting, online casinos, slot machine games, lottery games, land-based casinos, and poker tournaments
- Grant licenses to deserving operators of gambling businesses
- Analyze the gambling market, conduct relevant studies, and provide guidance and information
- Exchange experience and knowledge with gambling regulators in other countries
The Danish Gambling Authority is well known for two features that protect Danish players from gambling addiction and problem gambling:
- ROFUS– This is a register of all players who have self-excluded from online gambling sites licensed in Denmark. These sites are prohibited by law to accept registrations from self-excluded players.
- StopSpillet– Danish players can use this feature to get free counselling on problem gambling, treatment for gambling addiction, responsible gambling, and related issues. StopSpillet functions between the hours of 9:00 and 21:00 from Monday to Thursday and between the hours of 9:00 and 17:00 on Friday. You can call the service on the number +45-70-22-28-25.