The Legalisation of Online Gambling in 2019

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The new year is about to come with exciting changes for the online gambling scene. Throughout ups and downs in the recent period, there is good news on the horizon and a fruitful future for development and growth. New gambling laws around the world will secure a strong and fresh system and here is what you need to know about the legislation in 2019 and whether you can find casinos online to play for real money.

Switzerland: Swiss Gaming Act Shapes The New Year

2019 will have a strong start with Switzerland’s newly passed law, the Swiss Gaming Act. The legislation was voted through the referendum on June 10 and confirmed by the Federal Council. The new law is aiming to shape up licensed online gambling and increase players’ protection. Therefore, it will legalise licensed online gambling operators, with a special highlight on licensing rights. Foreign and unregistered providers will be banned, while the authorized and regulated online casinos will be able to provide online poker, roulette and blackjack to the public.

Switzerland has an ethical approach on this matter and desires to protect the public from fraud, money laundering and why not, addiction in the younger audience. To further regulate the service, only existing and authorized Swiss casinos will be able to function online. What’s more, from the 1st of January application will be open for 6 months in order for other casinos to get licensed and get going. Tough news for the unregistered operators that will be banned.

Sweden: New Year’s Resolutions and Laws

Along with Switzerland and even a bit earlier in April 2018, Sweden confirmed a regulation act to be launched from the 1st of January 2019. According to the independent website Wagered, the Lotteriinspektionen will grant a license to 16 operators who will be allowed to offer online gambling activities to the Swedish public. The newly-regulated gaming scene is welcoming famous names, including Kindred, LeoVegas, Svenska Spel and Betsson. There also was a UK presence through Bet265 and Tombola. Another license is given to the German company Interwetten Sports and the Bwin. All of these will hold a variety of domains ready to use from January 2019.

US: Progressive Wins

After online casino games and sports betting were finally legalised in Pennsylvania this past year – joined by New Jersey and Delaware – the east-coast sets the ground for more states in the US to do the same. Although the rate of tax was set a little higher than the expectations, it’s still a reason to be joyful. This also attracted huge names such as NetEnt to apply for a license and offer its games in Pennsylvania.

At the moment there is news of lobbying session inspired by the east-coast and discussions to follow its example. So keep an eye on the US market cause the new year looks more than promising.

UK: The Show Must Go On

If some countries are just starting to regulate the online gambling habits and authorization, the UK has passed this crucial moment. The UK Gambling Act in 2005 stated that only operators with a license can legally provide services. This proved to promote safety, quality and a fair selection of games. The British authorities are not backing down after all this time. Just a few weeks ago three online casino companies have received a fine of about £14 million due to flawed systems that could have facilitated crime.

The UK Gambling Commission will continue to protect the players’ needs and ensure the operators are doing a good job. Currently, there are discussions on a new national strategy to regulate online service and reduce harms. No drastic changes are announced for the next year but it would be interesting to study the differences in the industry after the regulation and how it’s looking to be improved over time.

Netherlands: Stuck in a Loop or New Hope?

Sadly, Netherlands hasn’t yet confirmed its own Gaming Bill and this waiting has been going on from 2010. The bill is stuck in political disagreements and since it did not pass the vote in 2016 there hasn’t been any concrete move forward. It’s unfortunately still pending in the upper house of the Parliament.
However, recent news from the GamblingCompliance’s Netherlands section might bring good news for the new year. A Dutch lobbying group is calling for a rethink of the online gambling regulation act and hopefully, 2019 will be the year when the waiting is over and online gambling is regulated in the Netherlands too.

New Zealand: Online Gambling in New Zealand

New Zealand has its own specific rules when it comes to online gambling and this is regulated by the country’s Department of Internal Affairs, directly through The Gambling Commission. The current status is very dynamic and as Kiwis represent an important per cent of gamblers around the world might be relevant to keep an eye on this.
At the moment online gambling is prohibited in New Zealand. However, it is not against the law for the players to gamble online, as long as the online casino is based outside the country’s borders. A fine term for New Zealanders to still enjoy online overseas casinos. No definite news for what 2019 may bring, but the legislation is under regular review so who knows?

Since the past two decades, online gambling has been a fast-paced industry and it’s surely moving with the speed of light. Online gambling is a massive part of the industry and is raising awareness to be regulated around the world. Even though it’s still banned in some countries, the future looks positive for online gamblers.

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