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Online Gambling Regulations Around the World

Online gambling has become a very popular source of entertainment for some time now. People across the world like to spend some quality time wagering on sports events or simply settling down to play for real money online and enjoy some casino games. But since online gambling does, in fact involve real money, it needs to be regulated so that games are made to be fair, user data can be adequately protected, as well as that users are protected from developing a gambling addiction. 

That said, since gambling is so popular across the globe, many countries have taken different approaches to regulate online gambling. Some countries restrict or ban online gambling completely, while others have regulatory policies in place that benefit everyone, which is a much more creative way to sort things out. With that in mind, let’s have a look at how different regions of the world are regulating online gambling.

Regulation of online gambling in New Zealand

Online gambling is somewhat restricted in New Zealand. The only way to gamble online in this country is through authorized providers like Lotto NZ and New Zealand Racing Board (TAB). No operators in NZ are allowed to offer casino services like virtual poker or roulette, for instance. 

However, people from New Zealand are allowed to gamble as they see fit on offshore sites or apps. This type of online gambling is not prohibited but now local laws can protect users should something goes wrong as they cannot be enforced in such cases. That’s why the NZ government discourages their citizens from gambling offshore. 

The current Gambling Act from 2003 did not predict or foresee how online gambling would develop over the years so there are no specific regulations in place.  Attempts have been made to change local laws and regulations regarding online gambling but nothing has been accomplished so far. 

Regulation of online gambling in Europe

Online gambling is a rapidly growing industry in Europe and it has been for quite some time. Instead of banning or restricting gambling completely, Europe took a different approach and allowed it’s members to regulate online gambling as they see fit. A similar situation is currently happening in the US after The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 has been deemed unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court. 

Moving on, countries that are part of the European Union are allowed to regulate online gambling in accordance with EU regulations and recommendations. The United Kingdom, for example, has very good regulatory framework even though they are no longer a member of the EU. Their regulations focus on at risk gamblers and enforce online operators to have strict responsible gaming policies that will prevent gambling addiction. 

Other countries like France or Spain have also made specific regulations for online gambling. France created the French Gambling Act in 2010 that made their regulations compliant with European Commission and the French Gambling Authority was introduced to regulate online operators. As for Spain, the Spanish Gambling Act has been passed back in 2011, which legalized and regulated all types of online gambling activities. 

Regulation of online gambling in Asia

Online gambling is a rapidly growing industry in Asia, with many countries introducing regulations to control it. In some countries, such as China and India, online gambling is completely illegal. However, provinces that still belong to the People’s Republic of China like Macau and Honk Kong allow for people to wager on sports or horse races. As for India, there are no laws that prohibit offshore gambling only local activities. 

Therefore, each country has their own agenda an ways of regulating online gambling. In Japan, for instance, online gambling is completely forbidden under the Penal Code however you can gamble only in licensed land-based establishments. Singapore, on the other hand, took a holistic approach and The Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) was reconstituted from the Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) in 2022 so that new laws and regulations can be enforced for online gambling. 

That said, online gambling in Singapore is still illegal unless you gamble at the operator who has been granted exempt status by the GRA. Singapore is one of the countries with the highest number of online gamblers and the government is making a significant effort to prevent online scams and unlicensed operators form reaching out to their users. 

The majority of local laws and regulation across different Asian counties were passed before online gambling was even a thing. that’s why there are so many loopholes and uncertainty whether or not gambling online is considered a crime or not. Most countries, however, are working on implementing new laws or regulations that will further regulate online gambling activities. 

The regulations surrounding online gambling vary greatly from country to country. For those wanting to engage in online gambling, it is important to research the rules and regulations that apply in their region before doing so. The best approach would be to create a unified regulatory framework for all countries to based their laws upon as the gambling industry is rapidly growing. Unfortunately, such approach is very unlikely as different counties have different opinions about gambling in general. 

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