One of the biggest international trends in the entertainment sector has been the legalization of gambling and online casinos. Local and federal governments across the United States, Europe, the UK and Asia have all begun to reconsider their regulation of gambling, sports betting and casinos.
As online casinos have grown in popularity, they have presented another legislative challenge to lawmakers. The presence of online casinos has led to millions of individuals using technology such as VPN blockers in order to gamble online, no matter where they are located. The result is not only that gambling is continuing regardless of the country’s legislation, but also that the tax revenue that would be generated by the gambling is being collected by a different country.
Online gambling in Asia
Online gambling in Asia varies greatly in each country. For example, in Malaysia, Laos and China, gambling both in-person and online is highly regulated or restricted. However, in Vietnam, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Singapore, Macau and Taiwan, gambling enjoys varying degrees of legality and is incredibly popular.
However, even in countries where gambling is restricted, online gambling is still possible, and is popular. Although it is not necessarily legal, many gamblers in restricted countries use VPNs in order to access online casinos which are not allowed in their country. For example, online gambling in China remains popular even though gambling is not legal in China.
For the time being, gamblers who reside in Asian countries which restrict gambling will need to either invest in technology which helps them to circumnavigate geo blockers, or they will need to save up for a trip abroad to Macau or Singapore. However, as online gambling becomes increasingly popular and generates significant amounts of potential tax revenue, additional countries are likely to reconsider their stances on gambling and perhaps liberalize their gambling and casino regulations.
Online gambling in the UK
Across the UK, gambling is regulated under the comprehensive Gambling Act 2005. The 2005 Act provides a comprehensive review of what is and is not legal in the UK with regards to gambling and casinos. The 2005 Act essentially simplified the legislation for gambling and now anyone who wish to play a few games or place a bet can just register online or walk into a brick-and-mortar establishment and start playing.
The legislation has been very popular for both gamblers and online casinos since its inception, but there are now a number of calls for review of the legislation. The Law Review of the UK has expressed an interest in revisiting the 2005 Act in order to better legislate the online gambling industry. Clearly a lot has changed regarding online gambling since the Act’s passing in 2005, and the UK Law Review has argued that it is time for the 2005 Act to be modernized.
Why is online gambling suddenly so popular?
The very first digital casino game was launched in 1994. In the intervening 27 years, online gambling has become one of the most popular ways to gamble and place bets. There are now hundreds of different online casinos available around the world which offer thousands of different games for gamblers to try out. There are many different reasons why the online casino industry is having a moment in the sun.
One of the reasons why the industry has expanded so much in the last few years is the development of mobile technology. Mobile infrastructure has increased greatly around the world, including in developing countries, countries in the Global South, and countries in Southeast Asia. This means that data coverage is of better quality and cheaper than ever before, making digital platforms much more accessible for a huge proportion of the population.
On top of that, mobile devices such as phones and tablets have become much cheaper than they were even just 15 years ago. This means that more people than ever before have access to both a mobile device and the ability to pay for regular data services.
Looking ahead, the future of online gambling looks very bright. Market analysts have predicted that online gambling will continue its meteoric rise in popularity as an increasing number of gamblers give it a try and realize that it is just as fun and exciting as gambling in person. The online gambling and sports betting industry is definitely an industry to watch as it grows and becomes increasingly popular around the world.