Changes in Gambling Law of Different Countries
At the beginning of COVID19 pandemic, we made a prediction: The land-based gambling industry, which has been strained by the epidemic, will have to invest in online gambling and lobby for it to become legal. Well, as we approach the end of 2020, how successful have we been in this prediction? Has there really been a change in the laws of online gambling? Should we update our online casino reviews and prepare for playing free slot games in new countries, without a worry in mind? Below is a brief summary of the countries that changed (or are currently expected to change) gambling laws in 2020.
We have pretty good news for Germany: In March 2020, all federal states approved a new law called “German Interstate Treaty on Gambling”. The law will be effective from July 1, 2021, and it has been sent to the European Union Commission for information. This law allows, in a very simple way, any state to license online casino and betting operators. This was already possible to a limited extent, but each state had a different application process. Now, each state has the right to license gambling operators according to the same rules. These new rules allow companies that have deposited a 5 million EUR security deposit to obtain a license for both the casino and betting services. In addition, it has been decided as a condition that German players cannot deposit more than EUR 1,000 in a month. We think this change will attract many global gambling brands to Germany in 2021.
The United States of America
2020 was not a very productive year for the United States in terms of gambling, but we still have some good news. Two more states have legalized online gambling and approved mobile apps to be used for this purpose. These states are Colorado and Mississippi: Land-based gambling was legal to a limited extent in both, but online gambling is now also legal. Analysts expect legal online gambling to begin in Florida and New York in 2021, but nobody can say for sure. In any case, we can say that legalization at the federal level is not possible in the near future, but we are confident that more and more states will legalize gambling in 2021.
The United Kingdom
The UK, which ranks first among the countries where gambling is already legal and sets an example for other European countries, unfortunately, made a bad start to 2020. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) completely banned gambling with credit cards in January 2020 and announced that the ban would be implemented from April 2020. The UKGC cited 22% of the group defined as problem gamblers to use credit cards to make deposits. In other words, it claimed that using credit cards caused excessive gambling debt. Obviously, it is not possible to say that this is a consistent decision because mobile payments and e-wallet services, for example, offer at least as practical use as credit cards and involve the same risk. For this very reason, some analysts expect the UKGC to ban e-wallet services such as PayPal from gambling payments too. We do not know if this will actually happen, but we can say that it will significantly change the balances in the iGaming industry. The ban on credit cards and e-wallet services can cause many operators to leave the UK. For the same reason, we can see an increase in the popularity of cryptocurrencies.
The government monopoly that has been going on for many years in the Netherlands has ended in 2020. Gambling was already legal in the country, but only government agencies could offer gambling and betting services. With the amendment made in the law, this obligation was removed, and it is now possible for the operators to obtain a license. However, the license terms are not very attractive: Operators have to pay 29% of their net income in tax each year. In addition, they need to allocate 1.5% annually from their income for the local regulator and 0.5% in responsible gambling programs. This change will allow large-scale global operators to enter the country, but we do not expect small and medium-sized companies to choose this due to the high tax rate.
Other countries like Canada and New Zealand also do not stand aside from the changes in the global gambling market. To know more about the gambling laws in these countries, you can check this article.
In general, we can say that 2020 was a positive year for legal gambling: The two largest countries in Europe have taken the necessary steps for legal gambling. We expect similar legislative changes in more countries in 2021.