Online Gambling Regulatory Revolution

October 7, 2020

Online Gambling Regulatory Revolution

Online gambling is an industry that shows no signs of halting its year on year growth despite regulatory challenges and even global pandemics. 

This comes as no surprise given that businesses who have been able to transition from land-based to digital have shown amazing results across the board. Online gambling is at the cutting edge of all emerging technologies having pioneered mobile gaming, live dealer interactions and being on the brink of creating amazing experience using VR. 

The industry has evolved tremendously since it was founded in the mid-90s. Much of the early stigma attached to gambling has disappeared thanks to the continually improving regulatory frameworks and far-reaching safe gambling awareness programs. 

Far from constricting the industry or scaring away, potential players, these have initiatives have provided a safe and trusted gambling market where players can gamble with the assurance of fair play and support. 

Even some of the staunchest conservative views against the industry have melted away over the past 20 years, with many governments seeing the coffer-filling benefits of gambling revenues. As the business model has shifted, so has the regulatory climate that oversights it. In fact, some would argue that it is regulation that is setting the pace and direction for the gambling revolution in the world currently. 

There are six main factors that have changed and continue to change in the present regulatory climate of the online gambling industry.

1. Responsible Gambling

Governments and lawmakers have laid social responsibility on the shoulders of casino operators. While it is fine to capitalise on gambling, it is not fine to do so at the expense of an individuals well-being. It is for this reason that well-licensed casinos under the supervision of the world’s best regulators, work together to protect vulnerable players from problem gambling. 

Never in the past would you have been able to find entire help pages on a casino site that could help you identify if you have any issues, be able to direct you to avenues of support, and then empower you to exercise safer gambling habits on their sites. 

The UK Gambling Commission is probably the strictest when it comes to problem gambling, however, the Malta Gaming Authority runs a close second. These two ensure that their casinos tow the party line in offering safety protocols to this effect. 

Some of the tools you will be able to call upon now are: 

  • Deposit Limits on your accounts 
  • Time Limits on Play 
  • Time Outs (temporary holidays from playing) 
  • Self-Exclusion

Gamstop is a British NGO that has networked together with all the registered casinos of the UK. It allows for gamblers to Self-Exclude from all online gambling in the country for a period of up to 5 years. It begs the question: What business in its right mind would block its customers from spending with them? Apparently, a well-regulated business that is concerned with social responsibility.

2. Transparency

Contemporary regulation requires that casinos not hide their terms and conditions from players. Everything is apparent, from the terms in the bonuses and promotions to the variance of games, to the certifications and license numbers of the operators to the fees and limits they impose on withdrawals.  

Everything is plain for the customer to see so that they can make an informed choice of whether they would like to play at the establishment or not. This is yet another way that online casinos have become more user-friendly and acceptable to many conservatives.

3. Minimising the Monopoly

Historically governments have held the monopoly on gambling in their jurisdictions. This used to restrict the degree of entertainment available to players, causing them to seek out unregulated gambling sites and potentially putting them in danger of abuse.  

The privatisation of the European gambling industry has opened the continent to a greater diversity of gaming options. It has been key to Europe leading the world in gaming technology.  

While many governments still prefer to design their own regulatory frameworks, the state monopoly is a fast-fading concept.

4. Cryptocurrency Control

The cryptocurrency casino market remains a concern for regulators the world over given that the decentralised nature of the currency makes it difficult to govern.  

However, market leaders like the Malta Gaming Authority are working diligently towards providing an environment in which Bitcoin casinos will have to follow the same regulations as fiat currency casinos in order to benefit from tax breaks, above the line advertising opportunities and other revenue-generating options. 

While it is a process, it is another trend that is plotting the course for the evolution of the gambling and regulatory framework.

5. Above the Line Ads 

One of the benefits of holding a licence from a jurisdictional gambling authority is that it allows you to place ads on local television stations, radio stations, print and digital publications. 

These local brands have decades of consumer trust and interest, being able to legally advertise via these mediums puts the licensed casino in fronts a massive audience. 

Each region has its own requirements for dictating what these ads may or may not contain, however, the minor inconvenience of making region-specific marketing material is well worth the return on investment. 

From Evolution to Revolution

The ongoing evolution of the online gambling industry has revolutionised how countries view gambling regulation, how new technologies are put to work and has gone a long way to making gambling an accepted hobby. 

We can only dream of what the industry can become in the years that lie ahead as we see more widespread regulation and the unveiling of new and exciting technologies.