With the increasing popularity of online casinos, more and more countries around the world have authorized the offering of online gambling. Online gambling sites inject millions into the economy, create jobs, and generate tax revenues. As the online gambling industry spreads across the globe each country adopts its own measures to adapt the Internet casinos according to its laws.
The Europe takes the lead position in the regulated online gambling industry . The UK has become a leader in the industry with a 2 billion pound market that continues to expand. Many UK gamblers, however resort to overseas betting sites in places like Gibraltar. To counteract tax loss by raising bets on sites outside the country, the UK has passed a law to tax online gambling based on the player’s residence which will become effective in December 2014.
In Denmark , the government created a law in 2010 allowing for the operation of licensed and regulated online casino operators under the control of the Danish Gaming Authority (Spillemyndigheden.dk). Although the Netherlands does not currently allow casinos online, the Dutch market will open its first regulated online casino in 2015. And after several changes in the law, Germany’s legal situation with regard to online gambling has become very complicated. However, the German market is moving towards legalization.
Although France has allowed bets on horse races, poker and sports since 2010, the law still remains nebulous in relation to other types of betting. Meanwhile, Belgium only allows betting sites licensed by the government gaming commission.
The Italian government regulates online casinos strictly and requires a license for each site. In Italy , the total value of the stakes reaches “only” a little less than 100 billion euros annually, comprising 15% of the global bets on online gambling.
Some of the most popular operators in Italy are: Lottomatica, Bwin / Party, Snai, Paddy Power, Sisal and William Hill.
Meanwhile, Spain has authorized online casino games since June 5, 2012, allowing players to safely bet on online casino games, poker, bingo and lotteries belonging to licensed operators generating billions of euros. Although traditional casinos have been legal in Portugal since 1927, online casinos are still in the process of being regulated. Online sports betting and casino games have been operating in Greece for 10 years, although a law passed by the EU in 2011 requires many online gambling sites to pay a high fine for non-compliance with the new restrictions.
In North America, online gambling became legal in three US states in early 2014, with revenues increasing by millions in the first few months of operation. New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada authorize the operation of online casinos and more American states can join this list soon. In Canada , the government operates online gambling sites such as lotteries, which make millions annually.
In Latin America, Brazil represents the largest market, but only allows online betting on horse racing and government lotteries. Even so, online gambling sites abroad have become popular among Brazilian bettors, who bet millions online annually.
Sports betting made through overseas sites only tends to grow in the country as the 2014 World Cup approaches. Mexico and Argentina already allow online casinos that have special licenses. The online casino sites abroad are very popular in Mexico and Argentina has the largest number of online betting sites registered in Latin America.
In Russia , the online betting market remains tightly regulated for casinos and bookmakers. However, online casinos especially poker rooms are becoming increasingly popular in Russia as well as the mobile versions of casinos. Despite the fact that the Polish government prohibits online gambling, online casinos and sports betting are popular in Poland . The annual Polish revenue from illegal online gambling generates about $ 2 billion.