Global landscape of online gambling: Country-specific licensing laws

All these regulations are implemented to make the industry safer and more attractive

In Summary

• The industry is getting more regulated globally, and more and more controlling mechanisms are being implemented.

• This approach is necessary to guarantee the security and transparency of online casinos. 

What’s most important in the attractiveness of an online casino for customers? Many might say that game selections and bonuses play a crucial role, and both points are essential for players’ future gambling experience. However, the platform’s trustworthiness, reliability, and licensing are even more important.

The industry is getting more regulated globally, and more and more controlling mechanisms are being implemented. This approach is necessary to guarantee the security and transparency of online casinos. 

Different countries have regional controlling authorities that monitor all the companies operating in the sector, issue licenses, and provide requirements to gambling establishments. Let’s explore the main bodies and specific laws that help users better understand the industry landscape in the chosen location.

New Zealand Gambling Commission

Kiwis are known as one of the most gambling nations, as around 80% of locals reported their engagement in casinos or betting. Therefore, it’s unsurprising that specific iGaming legislation operates in the industry. The Gambling Act 2003 is the primary document regulating New Zealand's online casinos and their land-based alternatives, which are still incredibly popular in the country.

Local regulations prohibit in-country virtual gaming platforms, however, players can join multiple overseas sites. New Zealanders usually prefer various reputable gambling operators at offering exciting bonuses and a wide selection of games. The New Zealand Gambling Commission is a separate body that issues licenses for brick-and-mortar casinos and provides operators with guidance on their work within the legal frameworks. 

The authority constantly works on improving the overall industry landscape and guaranteeing that all market players get worthy conditions and stick to requirements.

Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency

Italy is the cradle of European gambling, as the first casino was opened in the country in 1638. Of course, the industry landscape has significantly changed in the following centuries, and now, online gaming establishments are much more popular among risk seekers. 

The country boasts one of the strictest casino regulations in the world – the sector is controlled by the Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency, issuing licenses and setting requirements for domestic operators. All online casinos holding a certification from this authority should ensure integrity and transparency and stick to fair play principles.

 Moreover, the Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency pays special attention to responsible gambling policies, putting maximum effort into providing for the population’s well-being. Therefore, only licensed and regulated online casinos are allowed to operate in the country. 

Gambling operators face numerous restrictions, including the ban on cryptocurrency usage, to work legally in Italy and have the right to operate in the state.

United Kingdom Gambling Commission

This regulatory body is among the most widespread and prestigious globally. It controls the industry in the UK and provides guidance and advice for all casino companies in the country. Online gambling is legal in the state, but service providers must adhere to multiple requirements. 

The UK Gambling Commission aims to eliminate illegal iGaming activities in the region and offer players a safe and fair environment. Therefore, every online casino must comply with the authority’s rules, including holding a valid license, passing independent tests from organisations like eCOGRA, and implementing the best data protection mechanisms. 

The legislator body now concentrates on promoting a responsible gambling approach in the country’s market and encourages all parties involved to stick to its main principles. 

It’s worth noting that offshore gaming venues licensed abroad are also legal and accept British risk seekers. However, the UKGC aims to expand its influence in the country and beyond its borders and tries to minimise the number of overseas platforms.

Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland

GRAI is the independent gambling controlling body in Ireland that regulates the sector and issues specific laws applicable to all market players. the authority aims to provide secure and transparent conditions where online casinos and their members get maximum benefits and face minimum drawbacks. 

The primary points the body works on include issuing licenses, increasing customer awareness of safer gaming, coping with gambling-related disorders, and preventing any fraudulent activities in the industry. 

The Irish casino sector has been working under the control of the UK Gambling Commission until 2024, but this year, the state presented an independent regulatory body that will take the responsibility of managing iGaming in Ireland.

US state-by-state gambling regulation

The United States has unique gambling legislation since there’s no federal regulatory body. At the same time, this risky entertainment is allowed in most of the country’s regions. Each state government has the right to issue specific iGaming laws and regulate the industry independently. 

Gambling is most popular in Nevada, New Jersey, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. Online casinos are available for residents of most states, excluding Utah and Hawaii, where the activity is strictly prohibited.

 Since there’s no nationwide regulatory body, most regions have independent controlling authorities. They issue licenses, control compliance with the primary requirements, and ensure the stable functioning of the entire industry within the state. Have a look at some authorities:

  • Nevada Gaming Control Board
  • South Dakota Commission on Gaming
  • Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
  • New Jersey Casino Control Commission

 Even though these bodies are different and operate within a particular state, their main principles and requirements are pretty much the same. Online gambling operators are only allowed to operate if they acquire an appropriate license. In addition, every digital casino must guarantee full customer data protection and compliance with safer gaming policies. 

In this case, gambling companies are considered legal and can accept US players. In addition, offshore platforms operating under licensing from bodies like Curacao or MGA are also not prohibited in the country.

Final thoughts

Many countries have their specific regulatory bodies that issue licenses and provide requirements for gambling companies operating on their territories. Even though these bodies are different and legislation may vary, the basic principles remain the same in many regions. 

In contrast, New Zealand takes a more relaxed approach, with gambling regulation overseen by the Department of Internal Affairs, which can be seen as a stark difference compared to some African countries with very strict regulations or outright bans on gambling.

Online casinos have to ensure transparency, fairness, and security to their customers. Moreover, it’s critical for iGaming operators to eliminate fraudulent activities and inform users of the potential negative consequences of uncontrolled gambling. All these regulations are implemented to make the industry safer and more attractive for risk seekers.

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