Over the last 20 years, the gambling industry has seen many changes in regulations. The growth of online betting and easy access to powerful mobile phones means it’s easier than ever for customers to play casino games and bet on sports.
With so many new users coming into the space, it’s important for leading countries like America and Canada to ensure protection by providing suitable gambling laws and licenses to businesses. Today we explore some gambling regulation changes to expect in 2022.
Major Changes in Recent Years
One of the most significant changes the industry has faced is the new way businesses operate after the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the infection began spreading worldwide in 2020, indoor and outdoor events have been limited or restricted. This has had a significant impact on the gambling sector, with land-based casinos, bingo and slot halls, race tracks, and sports events feeling the pinch.
While different vaccines have allowed some countries to begin operating like normal, the global nature of the virus means businesses must be on alert and prepared for future variations. Companies operating in public must follow local government health guidelines, like ensuring patrons are vaccinated or wearing a face mask.
During the pandemic, the online world experienced massive growth. Lockdowns imposed by governments reduced the number of people allowed to move around and attend events. With most people staying at home, many turned to the internet for entertainment at online casinos, sportsbooks, and poker sites.
This boom made it easier than ever for customers to find exclusive deals, like the best USA no deposit bonuses. These free deals are a great way for new players to experience online casino action. The best deals were recently updated with more offers to choose from.
Another change that regulatory bodies may face in the future is how they handle issues created from online gaming. This digital betting style has some areas of concern, including the risk of increased screen time and longer gaming sessions. Gambling regulators may need to factor in these areas to ensure customers are protected over the long term.
Regulations in the USA
American residents had to deal with a bumpy road trying to navigate the government’s gambling regulations. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 was legislation introduced to regulate online gambling. Under these rules, it prohibited sites from accepting payments for bets or wagers over the internet under federal and state law. After this, many large-scale gambling sites packed up and left the US market.
In 2018, the sports betting world got some excellent news. The Supreme Court had ruled that a previous 1992 ban that prohibited wagering on sports actually violated rights. The ban was overturned, and individual states started to prepare for legalizing online betting, with New Jersey leading the way.
Since 2018, many states have opened sports betting to local, licensed, and regulated USA operators. Locals in these states have quick access to safe betting options for their favorite sports. The states that have legalized all forms of sports betting include Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington DC, and Wyoming.
According to a recent article in the Washington Post, over one-third of Americans can legally bet on sports from home. This figure is expected to rise in the future as more states begin to regulate gambling activities and benefit from tax revenue.
New York recently joined this list, with legislation passed at the beginning of 2022 allowing mobile sports betting. This saw a sharp increase in betting activity from a state with a passion for sports. Recently, the state Senate unveiled a proposal to increase the number of online sports betting licenses. Applicants approved will be required to pay a $10 million licensing fee. This high entry barrier means only reliable and well-vetted candidates can apply, ensuring a safer environment for US gamblers.
The online casino industry in the USA has moved at a much slower pace. Compared to sports betting, the list of states allowing online casinos is much shorter. Currently, only residents in Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia can play at legal USA online casinos. In 2022, Maryland and Illinois are two states with legislation in place that could potentially open doors for online casino gaming in the future.
Canadian Gambling Opens Up
Just north of the border, Canadians in Ontario will benefit from changes in gambling regulations. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has announced the 4th of April as the date legal online gambling will begin. These regulations are great news for a province that has been trying to improve the local gambling scene since 2019.
Ontario is the second-largest province in Canada, with a population of nearly 16 million people. By opening the legal betting market, the North American sector can look forward to an exciting future. There are several prominent companies eagerly waiting to serve residents in Ontario, including DraftKings, FanDuel, and MGM.
Over in Europe, the online casino market will continue to see growth thanks to the opening of new regulated markets. The Netherlands is one area to keep an eye on. This EU nation passed legislation in October 2021, allowing international operators to apply for a local gambling license.
This enables big brands to set up a business, provide local services, and pay taxes to Dutch authorities. An excellent addition to the Dutch regulations includes a compulsory contribution towards gambling help programs. This style of system seems promising, with tax revenue from gaming being used to help local communities combat-related social problems.
In the neighboring country of Germany, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia recently passed a law allowing gambling operators to acquire local casino licenses. The bill aims to reduce illegal activity like fraud and money laundering, while increasing player protection. There are five licenses ready to be issued, and Germans can soon benefit by playing on established sites that provide fun and safe gaming services.
Looking at the recent changes to gambling regulations around the world, it’s evident that online services are becoming more important. In the digital world we live in, people want easy access to the entertainment services they enjoy. As more countries begin to regulate gambling activities, each country can learn which type of legislation works, and make future changes. Creating a safer environment for everyone.