A MIX OF STRICTLY AND LOOSELY REGULATED COUNTRIES
More than a few of the European markets are still loosely regulated and their residents able to play at sites licensed by the likes of the MGA and the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner. They will normally have access to games produced by most if not all software developers.
- Local licenses required to serve the UK, Spain, Belgium, Czech Republic and Romania
- Gaming products have to comply with regulatory requirements of the DGA, DGO, Schleswig-Holstein Ministry of Interior, ADM, Hungarian NAV, Bulgarian State Commission on Gambling
- NetEnt games may be unavailable in countries like France, Italy, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Portugal
- Microgaming, Pragmatic Play and Endorphina products might not be accessible by players residing in France
- iSoftBet games unavailable to residents of Belgium, Denmark, France, Romania, Serbia, Spain and Turkey
Loosely regulated markets will doubtlessly follow the example set by the UK and other governments mandating a local license. As a result, gaming choice may shrink temporarily or for a longer period, depending on the potential revenue loss (or gain). Not to worry, Casino Bloke will keep you updated.
HIGHLY REGULATED ONLINE GAMING MARKET
If a company wishes to offer online gaming products to UK residents (in a legal manner), they have no choice but to obtain a license issued by the UK Gambling Commission. Most reputable brands have done so and Brits are thus able to play games from most of the top providers.
- Strictly regulated online gambling industry
- UKGC license required to serve UK residents
- UK slots fans can play titles developed by Microgaming, NetEnt, SG, Play ‘n GO, Playtech, Yggdrasil, IGT, Playson, Progress Play
- Live gaming fans get to bet against live dealers employed by Evolution Gaming and Authentic Gaming
- Products from Booming Games, Eyecon, Habanero and PariPlay may be unavailable
By playing at UKGC-regulated online casinos and betting on games produced by UKGC-licensed developers, UK fans can enjoy their favourite pastime with a complete peace of mind. They can be sure proper tools and process are being implemented to keep their money safe and gameplay fair.
EXCEPTIONALLY COMPLEX AND RESTRICTIVE LEGAL ENVIRONMENT
Our friends from the US have the smallest choice of all; owing to a highly restrictive and amazingly complex legal environment, they are limited in terms of online venues willing to let them in as well as software providers ready to let them launch their products.
- Highly restrictive and complex legal environment
- Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, Amatic, Eyecon, EGT, iSoftBet, Play ‘n GO and Quickspin unavailable to US gaming community
- Live dealer games by Evolution Gaming, Authentic Gaming and Ezugi unavailable to US residents
- US citizens can access RNG games from RTG, BetSoft, Rival and Pragmatic Play
- Americans can play against ViG’s and Vivo’s live dealers
Currently, the only popular developers willing to offer their products to US residents are Realtime Gaming, BetSoft, Rival, Pragmatic Play, Visionary iGaming and Vivo/Arrow’s Edge. In 2012, Bally and IGT were both approved for online gaming licenses by the Nevada Gaming Commission, and in 2013, Aristocrat was granted an interactive gaming license from the same authority.
RESTRICTED BUT LOOSELY MONITORED
Online gambling in Canada still falls into grey area but, whatever restrictions there may be, the local authorities don’t seem to be too keen on enforcing them. Individuals aren’t prohibited to engage in online betting and most software developers don’t impose restrictions either.
- Despite local laws, offshore online casinos aren’t being blocked nor prosecuted
- Numerous gaming sites happy to serve residents of Canada without restrictions
- The majority of software developers are happy to let Canadians play their games
- Most operators support CAD currency
- A limited choice of NetEnt games available as of end 2018
NetEnt has entered the Canadian market end of 2018 thanks to an agreement made with IGT where NetEnt supplies a range of casino products to the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. The developer managed to obtain the necessary certification and make its top games available to Canadian players.
OPERATORS SANCTIONED, PLAYERS ALLOWED TO GAMBLE
Australian gambling laws used to be quite liberal until the passing of The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001. Consequently, offering and advertising real-money gambling services to Australian citizens became an offence and Aussies can no longer enjoy many of the best casino games out there.
- The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 significantly shrinks the choice of online casinos and games
- The Gambling Act doesn’t forbid Individuals to place online wagers
- Aussies may not be able to play games from NetEnt, Microgaming, Quickspin and Play n’ GO
- RTG, Rival, Red Tiger, Spinomenal, Playson, Booming Games, Revolver Gaming and Wazdan slots available to Australian players
- Australians can play live dealer games by Evolution Gaming, ViG, Lucky Streak, Vivo and SA Gaming
Alarmed by the fact that more than 80% of Australian adults engage in some kind of gambling activity and many experience gambling-related problems, the government has reacted accordingly. As a result, numerous online venues closed their doors to Australian players.
LEGAL FRAMEWORK TAKING SHAPE
The Netherlands lagged behind some of Europe’s biggest gambling markets when it comes to gambling legislation. Until recently, all forms of online gambling in the Netherlands have been strictly forbidden.
Early in 2020, the Ministry of Justice and Security published a draft version of its final General Administrative Order that will develop into a Ministerial Decree under which the specific licensing conditions will be introduced. Most notably, the Decree will include the following:
- Cooling-Off period to be extended by another six months, meaning operators may not apply for a Dutch remote license if they have actively targeted Dutch market at any time in the 30 months prior to license application.
- New advertising restrictions, gambling ads between 06:00 and 21:00 prohibited.
- Operators should not advertise products and services other than gambling services. Cross-selling forbidden.
- Free of charge customer service obligatory with Dutch-speaking customer service agents.
- Customer ID verification must be confirmed before account registration is finalized. Temporary gambling accounts will no longer be allowed.
Operators willing to step inside the strictly regulated Dutch gambling market will need to comply with additional conditions. Most notably, all betting and gambling operators will have to establish a Control Database (CDB) containing operation data on the gambling type they offer. The country’s independent governance body Kansspelautoriteit (Ksa) will have access to such a database.
ONLINE GAMBLING PROHIBITED
South African gambling market is still heavily restricted; owing to concerns regarding problem gambling, online casino gambling remains illegal and just about everybody risks potential fines – operators, players and financial institutions that process gambling-related payments.
- Online gambling is prohibited in South Africa
- RTG, BetSoft, Play n’ GO, Booming Games, Playson and Spinomenal are some of SA-friendly software developers
- Few SA-friendly gaming sites offer NetEnt games
- Microgaming products aren’t available to SA players
- South Africans can play live dealer games by Evolution, Extreme Gaming and Playtech
The National Gambling Amendment Act 2008 was an attempt to legalize interactive gambling but, sadly, it failed to come into power. As long as the SA legal landscape remains unchanged, players will have to deal with a limited choice of casino games.