The global online casino sector is thought to be worth over $90bn now and this has led to people in all corners of the planet playing classics like slots, roulette, or blackjack over the internet. A big part of the industry’s recent growth has been the way individual countries have regulated online casino play within their borders to make it safe for people to enjoy.
Three countries with some of the healthiest iGaming scenes currently are Canada, the UK, and the US. It might surprise you to know though that the laws around gambling online in each nation differ somewhat! But what are the current rules for each?
How Does Online Casino Regulation Work In Canada?
Canada is a great place to start when discussing iGaming – not least because the industry is growing quickly there, with plenty of online casinos in Canada to choose from. This has seen the whole industry in Canada take off in recent times and grow to be worth multi-billions per year. This demonstrates that lots of Canadians love to play games like slots online now and enjoy the convenience this offers.
But what is the law around playing these sorts of games online in the country? In simple terms, it is not legal for any company to operate an internet casino based in Canada. Only online casinos operated by the Government are permitted – which explains why there are some provincially owned sites to game at in certain provinces. It is however perfectly legal for Canadians to play at offshore internet casinos which are not based in the country. As these are regulated separately by bodies like the Malta Gaming Authority or Kahnawake Gaming Commission, they are still safe to play at.
Online Casino Legislation In The UK
As well as catching the best anime shows on TV or watching sports, people in the UK love to gamble online. The industry here not only attracts millions of players to have fun at top iGaming platforms but also has a market size of around £14bn.
As with some other countries in Europe, the UK online casino industry has been in operation for a while and this country has allowed people there to gamble online for many years. The real game-changing piece of legislation here was the Gambling Act of 2005.
This made gambling online in the country totally legal and also enabled online casinos to advertise their services within UK borders. The UK Gambling Commission was also set up around this time and issues licenses to legitimate gaming platforms to operate in the UK. All forms of online casino play are legal here and the overall market is now thought to include around 25 million regular UK gamers.
Rules Around Online Casinos In The US
Although the UK might have been letting its citizens gamble at online casinos for a while, the picture in the US has more in common with Canada. While gambling online might not have been possible or viewed favorably here in the past, this stance has shifted in recent years. It all comes down to the fact that online gambling is not illegal on a federal level in the country anymore. This basically means each state can choose to allow online gambling if it wants to.
New Jersey’s decision to allow online casino play in 2013 saw it become the very first US state to allow iGaming within its borders. While only a few others have followed suit to date, including Pennsylvania and West Virginia, more could follow. With the tempting prospect of high tax revenues to collect from online casinos, this seems very possible. The North American online gambling market is predicted to grow at a rate of 14.78% by 2025 and this shows how popular this way of gaming is becoming there. Playing at offshore casino sites is not allowed in the US though, as there are rules in place to prevent the transfer of funds to and from them.
Canada, UK, And US All Have A Different Take On Igaming
As the above shows, all three countries have their own slightly different take on online casino legislation. The main takeaway though is that it is possible to play these kinds of games across all of Canada and the UK, as well as in the US states which have legalized it. As time moves on, it will be interesting to see where the sector heads next in all these nations.