How online casino regulation is expected to change in 2020

The gambling market is rapidly growing across the globe and especially in regions such as the United States, Europe, South Africa and Australia.

With the growing user-base and net worth of the industry, there are hundreds of online casinos sprouting over the web. Therefore the need for concise and well thought out regulation has become apparent and there are plenty of changes in the pipeline for the near future. Here are some of the regulation related changes you can expect in the online casino market in 2020 for some of the major regions.

United States of America

The USA is now looking at becoming the number one online gambling market. In terms of regulation though, it is complicated since it is not centralized. Instead, each state in the country gets to decide whether or not it will permit online gambling, and this decision is implemented as law by the respective governor signing it.

Expected Growth in the USA

At the federal level, gambling laws and the legality of online gambling remains a grey area. The law books have laws such as the UIGEA (Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act) that don’t really address the meat of the matter. Instead, it is more focused on the role of payment processors integrating with online gambling websites. Currently, there are two states that totally prohibit online gambling and these states are Utah and Hawaii.

However, even in these states, games that involve certain level of skill (poker for example) are still legally allowed and that brings in even more confusion. Amongst the 50 or so different states in the US, only 4 states allow fully regulated online poker and these states are Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

There are some states where bills to regulate online casinos are being pushed, but the opponents of legalization have been able to keep them at bay so far. Going forward, it is hard to expect the regulation to become centralized, and each state will continue to determine for themselves the legality of online casinos and the laws that regulate them, if legal.

However, you can expect more states to legalize online gambling or at least some forms of it given that there is a lot to gain in terms of tax and bettering the economy.


European countries vary from one another when it comes to the legality of online gambling. Each country can determine their own set of laws to regulate the matter as long as they abide by the broad framework of the TFEU (Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union). The majority of European countries allow online gambling in one or the other form.

The United Kingdom is one of the progressive countries in this regard where online gambling is allowed in all of its popular forms such as bingo, sports betting, slots, scratch cards, lotteries, online casinos and online poker.

Some other countries, like Germany, are more restrictive. However, given the fact that the online gambling industry’s net worth is projected to touch €24.7 billion by 2020, it can be expected that other European countries will follow in the path of the UK and ensure that they get a piece of the pie as well. The problem of frivolous online casinos has unfortunately grown alongside the online casino market.

It is of paramount importance that individual players do their own research and ensure that they pick licensed, regulated and legitimate online casinos to play with. You should bypass using anonymous online casinos and stick to tried, tested and reviewed online casinos as much as possible.

South Africa

South Africa is another major contributor to the global casino market. The National Gambling Amendment Act of 2018 implemented recently by the South African parliament essentially facilitates the handover of authority to the National Gambling Regulator from the National Gambling Board.

It enhances the management and regulation of gambling activity and also improves the National Central Electric Monitoring System. For online gambling enthusiasts, South Africa is a haven where you can play at online casinos, indulge in sports betting, play the lottery and even visit land – based casinos completely lawfully provided you are of legal age.

We expect South Africa to remain liberal and progressive when it comes to their online casino and online gambling laws. If anything, we could see more laws to protect consumers and provide for a streamlined process for online casino operators to get their casinos licensed.

South Africa is not very keen on allowing foreign based online casino operators to provide their services to players based in South Africa. Players found to be playing at overseas casinos can have their winnings seized by the government. We don’t see any reason at this time to expect this to change. What we can expect to change is that local online casinos and online poker vendors will get a boost in the upcoming years as protests from their land-based counterparts are starting to be challenged.

What Next

All in all, the online gambling market is expected to grow in 2020 as more states and countries will continue to recognize, legalize and regulate online gambling. Furthermore, there are plenty of trends and innovations in terms of tech that are going to further boost the industry and really take online gambling to a new, unprecedented level in 2020.


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