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It's Complicated: Online Gambling Regulations Around the World

  • By Staff Jun 12, 2017, 1:19 am4.9k pts
    Microgaming, the company that triggered the rise of the online gambling business back in the mid-1990s, probably didn't expect for its innovation to become such a massive global phenomenon. In the last two decades, online gambling has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry, and at the same time, one of the most controversial ones in the world. While some countries consider online casinos to be legitimate businesses, others go as far as to ban their residents from even visiting destinations like https://www.wildjackcasino.com/ at an ISP level. Opponents of the business speak of it as a destroyer of society, yet no country where playing at the Wild Jack is legal has descended into debauchery, nor has it seen a problem gambling epidemic swipe through its residents. Those playing online at the Wild Jack and beyond consider their habit as a form of casual online entertainment and a study signed by the Harvard Medical School's Division on Addiction, published in 2014, seems to confirm their point of view. Still, many governments seem to have issues with accepting the numbers or to have other reasons to postpone a final decision on the matter - and maintain a climate of controversy and turmoil about it.

    The United States

    The best example of a country with a completely controversial stance on online gambling is the United States. On one hand, the US has the Federal Wire Act, a law that prohibits the "transmission in interstate or foreign commerce of bets or wagers or information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers on any sporting event or contest, or for the transmission of a wire communication which entitles the recipient to receive money or credit as a result of bets or wagers, or for information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers". The US Department of Justice has in 2011 ruled that this law only refers to sports betting, leaving it to the states themselves to decide to regulate or ban other forms of online gambling. Three of them - Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey - have acted on their newfound liberty, deciding to regulate online poker (the first two) and online casinos (New Jersey). Some other states have decided to outright ban these, while others have started discussing their respective gambling bills, yet failing to reach a decision on the matter to this day. All this under the threat of a veritable Sword of Damocles, the Republican Party's repeated attempts to push through a blanket ban on all forms of online gambling, including online lottery sales, already implemented in several states. Under such conditions - and considering that the GOP is now in control of the whole legislature - it is understandable that the states are reluctant to move either way.


    Canada is another country with controversial laws on online gambling. Here, running an online casino or a poker room is a state monopoly - only provincial lottery corporations are allowed to offer such services. Yet only three such companies provide players in just four territories with such services, leaving gamblers in the rest of the country with nothing but offshore operators. The Canadian government could simply solve the issue of players spending their money outside the country by introducing a licensing scheme and cashing in on the taxes and fees paid by international operators. Instead, it has repeatedly tried to ban the residents' access to offshore gambling venues at an ISP level - to no success so far, as net neutrality is taken seriously in the country.


    Slot machines - or pokies, as they are called locally - are very popular in Australia. Melbourne's Crown Casino has the fourth largest collection of slot machines in the world, and the whole country has over 200,000 such machines spread out in thousands of licensed gambling clubs. When it comes to online gambling, though, things are very different - running an online gambling business from Australian soil or promoting such services is strictly prohibited in the country. The only legal form of online gambling in Australia is betting on sports. Australians are still playing these games online - they, as their Canadian counterparts, head to operators on the "gray market" to satisfy their needs. And there is no law explicitly banning them from doing so.