The journey to a responsible and regulated online gaming world: who’s winning?

By 2016, the global online gambling market had reached 44.16 billion. With a compounded annual growth rate of about 10%, the growth of player numbers, and the increasing online casino sites, as well as many other gambling platforms, the sector shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. And according to market research, global online gambling will be worth about $81 Billion by 2022. Whiles the sector promises huge revenues now and in the future, one major issue lurking around is how countries and regions are regulating online gambling.

Are the regulators winning?

Gambling in the online world did not start with regulations. Regulations in the sector started with the institution of online gambling and gaming commissions, and countries like Gibraltar, Isle of Man, and Malta were championing these kinds of commissions. Today, regulating online gambling is a headache to global powers and largely differs from country to country and from region to region.

By the end of 2017, over 80 countries had already developed regulations governing the online gambling world with Europe still leading as the largest market for online gambling. The European position seems to see even more improvement as the Netherlands adopted new online gambling laws not long ago. The UK’s gambling market has been legal since the 1960s and according to a report in August 2017 by the Guardian, gambling claims about £14 billion from the public annually. In the Asia region, online gambling is regulated in some countries and unregulated in some. Whiles Singapore completely bans gambling of any sorts, countries like South Korea and China allow gambling, but legally – with recent arrest of online casino sites and gambling dens that operate illegally in these countries.

As a result of differences in state laws in certain jurisdictions, the USA’s gambling legal sector happens state by state. In recent months, more than three states have legalized gambling with more states to follow suite, hopefully. In Africa and in many parts of Asia, no conscious efforts are made towards regulating the gambling market any time soon.

What the market is like to gambling platforms

A look at the gambling platforms and online casino sites and one thing comes to mind – the money still flows in amidst regulations. The entire online gambling market is moving very fast, carrying along all the strings, including poker, sports betting, and online casinos.

With a market that is expected to reach US$81 billion by the year 2022, it is easy to think that ‘money’ is the only driving factor for these online gambling companies and the reason why many casino sites are being churned out every day. But the picture looks a lot larger than that. According to the Online Gambling -Market Demand, Growth, Opportunities and Analysis Of Top Key Player Forecast To 2023, factors that influence the growth in online gambling and a subsequent increase in revenue will center around new technologies, accessibility to the internet, easing of regulations by governments, and an increased demand for IoT-based devices. Increased mobile usage is also one of the factors that will increase online gambling, with Statista reporting that mobile social casino generated 3.46 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, and this is anticipated to touch 5.89 billion in 2022.

Final thoughts

So in the end, the picture does not look like one group wants to be the only winner. From the look of things, many governments are not worried about online gambling or the influx of many online casino sites, but are more concerned about how they can cash in on the industry through taxes and other forms of regulations.

For instance, Norway’s move to restrict payments to international gambling sites is a move that is geared towards restricting online gambling international operators to gamblers in Norway. Sweden has recently started looking at a regulation that will eliminate the country’s gambling service monopoly and regulate the system. During the first quarter of 2018, the gambling market in Sweden stood at approximately $631 million, with about 50 percent of that revenue coming from unregulated gambling activities.

The online gambling world, from now on, might get an even bigger footing as the world prepares for the Disrupting Online Gambling conference in London (May 23 – 24). The topics to be considered, including Security, Technology, and Regulations, are an indication of governments’ and stakeholders’ concern over protecting citizens, cleaning the system of illegalities, and making money for the public purse.

In the end, it should be a win-win situation.