Posted in Industry September 7, 2017
New Crop of Online Gambling Bans: Australia, Slovakia, Poland, and the Czech Republic
While the online gambling industry continues to grow in some regions, several countries are implementing strict laws in this field. Australia, Slovakia, Poland, and the Czech Republic have recently imposed bans that severely restrict the iGaming industry. It remains to be seen if other countries will follow this trend. Additionally, it is important to consider whether these bans will completely eliminate online gambling in these areas.
Australia Online Gambling Ban – Complete Prohibition of All iGaming
Australia has been considering a ban on online gambling for the past two years. The legislation supporting this idea has made progress through the country’s complex legislative system. The debate surrounding this topic is heated, with a significant number of people supporting the idea of iGaming.
However, Australian senators have approved the Gambling Amendment Bill (2016), indicating that their arguments did not persuade them. This bill will officially ban all iGaming ventures in Australia in the near future. Amendments to the bill will make all forms of iGaming applications and gambling types illegal in Australia, with the exception of sports betting.
The goal behind the bill is to support the sports betting industry and protect Australian players from unreliable and scamming gambling apps. However, the blanket ban has led to the exodus of international gambling operators from Australia. Major businesses like 32Red Casino and 888Casino have chosen to leave, while shady operations remain.
This ban has increased the risk for players, as the absence of regulated gambling operations leads people to seek illegal options. It remains to be seen how this ban will impact the Australian gambling industry in the coming year. Australia may become similar to the U.S., where all forms of online gambling are technically illegal but still exist.
Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic Implementing IPS Blocks
Slovakia, Poland, and the Czech Republic are also implementing online gambling bans, but their approach is more lenient compared to Australia. These countries are regulating their markets to protect players from unreliable gambling businesses.
To address the threat from shady operators, they are using IPS blocking, a technology that disables select websites. Although not perfect, it is currently the most efficient selective internet blocking solution available.
These countries deserve praise for their logical approach. Instead of completely banning online gambling and forcing players to look elsewhere, they are legalizing and regulating the industry. Regulated markets provide higher levels of player protection, as operators are monitored by various authorities.
However, this level of safety comes at a price. Online gambling operators must obtain licenses for each market they operate in, which can cost hundreds of thousands. They are also required to pay a significant portion of their profit in taxes.
While the situation in Slovakia, Poland, and the Czech Republic is not entirely clear, some leading gambling operators may fall under the ban. Notable companies like William Hill Casino and 888Casino could face penalties of €500,000 for operating without the official license. As these markets have recently gained regulated status, it remains to be seen which companies will obtain licenses.
Players in these countries will be curious to know which operators will remain available once the bans are enforced.
The trend of banning online gambling websites is concerning, but it has not yet reached a point where the entire industry should be alarmed. It is worth noting that while some countries are moving away from iGaming, others, like the U.S., are attempting to reverse the ban.