How new European laws will change the online gambling world


According to the European Gaming & Betting Association, online gambling has had steady growth over the last several years. From a market share of €22.2 billion in 2018, it’s set to reach €29 billion in 2022.

It won’t be a surprise if that growth turns out to be even bigger. The pandemic caused people to spend more time at home, and online gambling turned out to be a fun leisure activity. Although the industry increased its revenue, that wasn’t the case with some European countries. It’s why they announced they would change laws applicable to playing over the web.

Germany Loses Money Despite the Industry Generating More Revenue

If you look at the online gambling options in South Africa, you’ll see players can choose from a long list of available casinos. It’s not much different in Germany. Players are allowed to gamble online in that country. However, most platforms that are accessible acquire a general license for doing business in the European Union. As a result, all the money casino visitors invest leaves Germany and heads to Gibraltar and Malta.

The German legislators realized this and decided to respond. Their idea is to implement a general national license for providing online gambling in this country. It’s something Germany will implement in July 2021 since everything is ready to go.

Presenting the German Interstate Treaty on Gambling

Schleswig-Holstein is the only state that providers can operate from in entire Germany. However, the national government managed to get all states on board to sign the German Interstate Treaty on Gambling – ISTG 2021.

According to details, ISTG will offer a licensing regime that operators can acquire for providing online poker, slot machines, and sports betting. This will lift all bans on playing web-based poker and slot games in this country.

Here is an overview of what ISTG will change:

  • Advertising – internet gaming platforms can advertise from 9 PM to 6 AM. Other conditions include that no ads can target minors or claim to resolve someone’s financial problems.
  • Slots – each spin will have to last at least five seconds. The maximum wager per spin is €1, which could lead to jackpot restrictions.
  • Accounts – operators should confirm the identity of every player. That means ensuring they are of legal age and allowed to play online casino games.
  • Sports betting – you can wager on events in session, but also before a match begins.

As for the current providers who don’t operate from Germany, they will have to adjust their platforms to new regulations. The experts believe they can continue operating as long as they accommodate fresh rules.

According to lawmakers, ISTG will motivate opening online casinos based in Germany, which will benefit their economy. The effects this will have on the Euro currency at domestic and international levels are still unknown. However, the latest news indicates that the European Union hopes the issuance of green bonds will help to strengthen Euro’s international role.

Norway Takes a Different Path

While Germany tries to maximize its national benefit from this growth of online gambling, Norway seems to go down a different road. Some reports indicate an increase in online gambling of 62% in this country. Their government doesn’t see that as a good thing.

Norwegian gambling laws are already strict, and they plan to continue tightening them. Despite that, more than 50% of the total income leaves this country. Norway plans to act by putting the gaming industry under control. According to reports, they’ll adopt a licensing model to increase the revenue portion that stays in this country. The national government will also continue running campaigns that demotivate gambling.

UKGC Is Also Making Some Changes

Although Great Britain has left the European Union, it’s still interesting to see how they are changing gaming regulations.

The UK Gambling Commission announced they’d make these adjustments from October 31, 2021:

  • Banning all “immediate stop” or “turbo play” features that accelerate play on slot machines or provide an illusion of control to a player.
  • Putting a restriction for a single spin to a minimum of 2.5 seconds.
  • Banning an automatic play option – players have to press the “Start” button to initiate each spin.
  • No images or sounds that present as a win the sum that is below or equal to the wagered amount.
  • Banning option to play multiple slot machines simultaneously.

These have some similarities with the EU’s ideas to protect players while assuming control over the market and promoting responsible gambling.

Final Thoughts

It seems that players can only look forward to the new laws changing the online gambling world. Although it will bring certain limitations, this also means adding new playing options. Implementing national licenses and tightening the entire licensing regime is good news for fans of online gaming. It indicates platforms will be under more control to meet all required regulations. That will contribute to the overall safety and transparency provided by internet gambling platforms.