Last update: October 2020
The year 2020 will forever remain a year that disrupted the everyday lives of millions of people and impacted global businesses. Closed borders, shops, offices, hotels, and entertainment institutions — do you remember something like this?
On the other side of the coin, there are businesses that managed to quickly react to the pandemic and moved part of their operations and services online. Some of them improved provided services and optimized them for high load. For example, before the pandemic, 28% of people shopped online weekly. In 2020, this percentage has grown to 36%, as Digital Commerce 360 researched.
Along with the e-commerce business, the online gambling market has displayed a significant boost in growth this year. People stay at home, get bored, and entertain themselves with online casino games. Also, industry experts predict that this effect will not go away soon.
Simply compare the size of the online gambling market in 2019, 2020, and forecast for 2023. No words needed to explain the perspectives for online operators and global game providers.
So, in this blog post, we are going to discuss:
According to Statista, Europe is the biggest online gambling market, with global revenue reaching $22.4 billion. Asia-Pacific, North America, and the Middle East are next on the list.
The online gambling sector in these locations provides different opportunities as well as challenges. So, let’s investigate the peculiarities of each market and what difficulties to expect when trying to launch your game there.
According to Mordor Intelligence, the European online gambling market is expected to grow during the period from 2020 to 2025 with a 9,2% CAGR.
Each European country has the right to regulate its Internet betting and gambling sector separately. In 2017, the European Commission decided to stop overseeing the regulations of all countries and delegated this responsibility to the national courts.
Nevertheless, there are two things applicable to all European countries:
“All online casino operators are obliged to receive a license from a responsible authority to prove their website’s legality. After being authorized, they take on the responsibility of verifying all players before the registration, for instance, by requesting photocopies of their documents. This way, all suspicious users are filtered out,” comments Alexey Isaev, senior engineering manager at Innovecs.
Online Gambling by Country
Online gambling in Europe is also legal in Belgium, Isle of Man, and Denmark.
In general, Europe is a good place for launching your game or betting platform because almost all European regulators provide transparent opportunities for receiving licenses.
According to the Canadian criminal code, only those institutions that received a license from provincial governments can run online gambling businesses. People are not legally allowed to engage in any online gambling activities provided by casinos not licensed by the province.
In 2010, PlayNow — the first-ever legal Internet casino — was launched by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. It can be accessed by people living in British Columbia. Another is Quebec which runs an official online casino via Loto-Québec. However, Quebec considers itself a sovereign nation and they take responsibility to regulate the market themselves. So, now there are more than 350 online casino websites.
Despite online gambling being fully legal in the USA, there are some things to take into account.
According to the 58-year old Federal Wire Act, US authorities forbid participating in online sports betting activities across state borders. Games such as slots, lotteries, poker, bingo, and others can be played without restrictions within the states. Authorities responsible for issuing licenses for operators control the legality of a certain game provided on the website.
While much controversy surrounded the validity of this act, the US Department of Justice reinterpreted it in 2011 and clarified that it relates only to betting on sports events.
In 2018, however, the Department of Justice once again changed their opinion and stated that the Act relates to all types of games.
As of today, the situation is still unclear. For example, in June 2019, Paul James Barbadoro, the District Court Judge, issued a statement that the act should relate specifically to sports gambling. Now, his statement remains under review.
Online Gambling by States
While the Department of Justice has not announced its final decision toward the validity of the Federal Wire Act, it is considered that casino games, poker, bingo, lottery, and race betting are legal in the USA if they are played within the borders of a certain state.
Today’s biggest challenge is the unclear future of online gambling. The only thing we can do is wait until the government decides which games will be allowed to be played legally.
However, another difficulty can occur when launching a game in North America. Most of the banks deny carrying out gambling transactions. Financial institutions try to avoid processing online casino payments as they do not want to deal with fraud, chargebacks, or other difficult-to-solve issues.
This is why, when launching a game, it is crucial to choose the operator with the payment method that will enable users to deposit and withdraw money without problems.
Asia-Pacific is the second-largest market of Internet gambling. According to a report by Research and Markets, by 2021 it is expected to increase by 7.31%.
All countries in the Asia-Pacific region are permitted to regulate online gambling individually.
Online Gambling by Country
Most Asian countries have banned online casino games and allow only their state lotteries and betting on motor or horse racing, which is a huge blocker for online casino operators.
Australia and New Zealand are considered the most favorable locations for launching casino games.
Most of the countries in the Middle East have banned online gambling activities. Nevertheless, many people find ways to gamble. They register on overseas casino websites and make bets there.
Online Gambling by Country
In most South American countries o, the iGaming sector remains a gray area. They have outdated gambling regulations, most of which are still pending under the government’s review.
Online Gambling by Country
In other South American countries, online gambling regulations are unclear and launching games there may cause many risks.
Considering the peculiarities of the online gambling market in different countries, as well as its legal background, it is practically impossible to develop a game that could fit everywhere.
“A supplier looking to enter multiple jurisdictions needs to carry out a legal requirements review to ensure the correct requirements are gathered during the phase of the game development. This process is extremely complex. Experience in legal rules collecting and analyzing will ensure the correct implementation of the requirements and a quick game certification before going live,” comments Antonio Zanghi, Managing Director at Maxima Compliance.
However, there are some recommendations that could help distribute your iGaming product across a wider audience.
The first thing to decide is which type of online game you want to build. The difficulty is that in the countries where online gambling is legal, popular games may differ.
Nevertheless, these three types remain popular among players around the globe:
Once you have decided on the type of the game, look for a software developer that will be responsible for the creation of your product.
With years of experience in the development of online slots, poker rooms, bingo, blackjack, and other games, Innovecs is a perfect choice.
Our developers have successfully completed projects for companies such as Gameion, Gameloft, Zynga, and NeoGames.
After the game is ready, the next step is to choose online casino operators. This is one of the most critical decisions you must make because there are a lot of illegal platforms.
To check the legality of a website, scroll down homepage and you will see the information about whether it’s licensed.
Regulatory Bodies in Different Regions
Online casino operators in different countries are regulated by different authorities, which are responsible for issuing licenses and controlling the activities of the casinos. So, if you see that the casino is licensed by one of the following bodies, you can comfortably partner with it.
Authorities in Europe:
Authorities in Asia:
Authorities in Australia:
The global online gambling market is developing quickly. Nevertheless, operators and players still face many legal restrictions.
Thus, of the countries we have investigated, the following locations are the most favorable for launching your game:
These countries have the most transparent online gambling laws and offer clear requirements for receiving a license.
Innovecs is well aware of all the legal requirements of the online gambling market and keeps up with all updates that take place globally. This is why, apart from helping you to develop a game, our company can act as a consultant regarding the questions of game distribution.
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