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Online casinos: Time for a collaborative approach toward regulation

  • by Stelly in Industry
  • October 21, 2020

Online casino regulation is an opportunity for countries to collaborate in order to create a singular regulation body to benefit players.


The birth of online casinos has presented an opportunity for countries to work together to more effectively manage their online casino regulations. Even neighbouring countries like Norway and Sweden have policies that are worlds apart despite their relatively small distance from one another.

As countries continue to create gambling laws on a reactive basis and take a needs-based approach to the addressing of casino games within their borders, the invention of online gaming and the birth of off-shore casinos has presented an opportunity for governments to step out and take a more holistic approach.

Morality mambo

While the moral implication of gambling has made governments uncomfortable, writing confusing and contradictory laws which take an all-or-nothing approach to games of chance hasn’t adequately addressed gambling at online casinos.

By not taking a proactive stance with the idea of helping, not only their citizens but also encourage business growth, governments lose out on valuable taxes while pussyfooting around the creation of legislation that actually works.

Gambling is considered taboo across a wide range of cultures and religions despite its popularity throughout generations. However, with almost every continent playing host to a lottery in one form or another, games of chance can be accepted by those same cultures as long as it takes the form of a televised drawing of numbers.

The casting of lots has been around since biblical times and yet few governments choose to tackle the legalization of gambling head-on.

Swedish solution

The Swedish government has chosen to take a restrictive approach in their attempts to control gambling within its borders.

Recent changes have seen the government approve a regulation to impose a weekly deposit limit that amounts to a little over $500 for all online casino account holders and prevent casino operators from offering casino bonuses that are valued at more than $113. Since this came into effect on 2 July, Swedish gambling operators have seen revenues fall by nearly a third within the space of about 3 months!

Secretary-General of the Branschföreningen för Onlinespel, Sweden’s online gaming industry group, Gustaf Hoffstedt, confirmed that Swedish operators were under pressure as the loss of revenue placed their businesses on shaky ground. He also felt that Swedish are simply visiting more off-shore casino sites to avoid these Swedish online gambling regulations.

Norway nuance

Norway has noticed a need to comprehensively address gambling in all shapes and forms with their three Acts to encompass games of chance in the country. The Totaliser Act (1927) covers horse racing, the Gaming Act (1992) manages the national lottery, sports betting and Keno, while the Lottery Act (1995) deals with all other kinds of games.

Residents are encouraged to make use of the Norsk Riskoto to place bets on horse races, and Norsk Tipping for lotteries, sports betting, online poker, keno and scratch cards.

Outside these entities, all other forms of gambling are illegal, with the 2010 Payment Act discouraging online gambling at off-shore sites by declining card payments.

While online gambling is officially illegal, the law isn’t enforced so residents have a myriad of options at their fingertips when looking to play casino games online.

Spanish strategy

The 2011 introduction of the Spanish Gambling Act set about the task of harmonizing online gambling within the country. This Act approached gambling from the advertising angle by prohibiting any casino operators from sponsoring teams or endorsing players.

The Act also prohibits the advertising, promotion and sponsorship of betting activities through any electronic, interactive and technological means. This includes the Internet, television, mobile phones, and landlines.

Alberto Garzón, Spain’s Minister for Consumer Affairs confirmed that, while advertising restrictions were a good start, further plans are afoot to further expand on gambling restrictions.

Online gambling presents the opportunity for governments to work together for a more unified approach to casino games. The internet has brought the world into our homes and requires a more universal outlook when it comes to Spanish online gambling regulation for players.

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