Wherever you go in the world, the gambling legislation is likely going to be somewhat different. While many countries are now embracing gambling, there are still extensive rules and regulations often in place.
The United States is a unique market as each of the 50 states can set its own rules for gambling-related activities once they are federally legal. Other areas like the UK have rules in place that cover the entire region. As the online gambling scene in the United States is in its infancy, there is a lot of learning it must do.
Many state lawmakers are now looking at other countries that have long-established online gambling markets to see how they approach key subjects such as responsible gambling. This article will walk through some of the learnings that can be taken away from the likes of the UK.
Perhaps the most established online gambling market today is in the UK. It is home to the leading gambling regulator in the world – the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). This body makes sure that all licensees are following the relevant rules and regulations. Otherwise, it issues hefty fines and/or strip operators of their licenses.
With problem gambling being on the rise, the UKGC has been implementing stricter measures on operators and players in recent years. Some people feel that these measures are too restrictive. They include a ban on the use of credit cards for gambling purposes, strict bet size limits, and banning certain game features.
One organization that helps UKGC in its goal of protecting gambling is GamStop. This not-for-profit group runs a self-exclusion program. Every single operator that has a UKGC license must be a part of GamStop. Therefore, problem gamblers can block themselves from every UK casino with just a click of a button. This period can range from six months to a single year to five years. Once requested, it is not possible to reverse this self-exclusion until full duration has passed.
While the UKGC does a great job of protecting its players, certain responsible gamblers want to have more freedom when it comes to online gambling. This is why they are transitioning towards non-GamStop casinos. These platforms often are regulated by non-UK gambling regulators like the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). They are largely still safe to use but don’t have major restrictions like UKGC sites.
Naturally, it is a concern that problem gamblers try to get around their GameStop self-exclusion by using these platforms. However, these online casinos still nearly always have their own self-exclusion programs, as well as other restriction tools like betting limits, deposit limits, loss limits, session reminders, and cool-off periods.
You won’t really find any blanket self-exclusion service such as what GamStop offers. However, the MGA is currently working on rolling out such a program in the future. Until then, it is vital that only those people who are completely in control of their gambling are gambling at non-GamStop casinos like those found on non-gamstop-casinos.com.
There are going to be pros and cons with both types of regulation. Therefore, it can be a good idea to weigh up the strengths and weaknesses before deciding which might be the best approach for a given market.
The United States online gambling market is only in its infancy. While online sports betting is spreading to more and more states, the online casino market is taking a lot longer to expand. Therefore, regulators can take more time to decide upon what regulatory approach they will take for this sector.
As seen with the UK example, having excessive restrictions on players can end up having the reverse effect of what was intended. These curtailments can sometimes go too far and start driving people away to offshore online casinos that offer a lot more freedom. Therefore, it appears that striking a balance between protecting gamblers while still giving freedom to responsible gamblers is the way forward for the likes of the UK market. However, this is something that will be easier said than done.
As the US market is only up and coming, operators will want to generate plenty of attention to attract new customers. Therefore, it is likely that having more attractive bonus offers, bigger betting limits, and a variety of easily accessible payment methods will be a must. Having excessive regulations right off the bat in a recently launched market can stop it right in its tracks and cause it to stagnate.
The US online gambling market is in an extremely exciting time. As more and more states legalize the likes of sports betting, online poker, and online casinos, the more that people will embrace the sector. The resulting tax revenues will also help states to fund vital public programs, as well as programs to assist problem gamblers.
Each state will decide for themselves as to what approach they will take to responsible gambling. Whatever the case might be, there appears to be a bright future for the market as it continues to grow exponentially in the coming years.