Category: Europe

Hambling is one of the Еools for Developing the British Economy

There is no denying the fact that the UK gaming industry has changed beyond recognition over the last 20 years.

During this period there has been a major market expansion, partly due to a technological breakthrough, as well as major legislative changes. Today, it is clear that, in a time of economic instability in the UK, it is the sector where the state is kept in a context of strong development and profit.

But this has not always been the case. Let us look at some of the key milestones of the past two decades. Let us also look a little ahead to consider potential changes that may already be looming on the horizon.

The Gambling Act 2005

Gambling Act

The last important legislative act on gambling was adopted in 1845, when according to the law on gambling bets were declared illegal.

This is hard to believe, but over the next 150 years no significant changes have occurred. Then, after Alan Budd’s report in 2001, the British government decided to introduce a new liberalized regulatory regime to revive the gambling market.

The Gambling Act was passed in 2005 to update outdated legislation. As part of the radical changes, local authorities were to be responsible for granting gaming licences. Thus, the industry regulator, the Gambling Commission of Great Britain, was created.

The aims of the law:

  • to ensure that gaming ceased to be a source of crime and disorder, was not associated with or used to support criminal activity;
  • to ensure that gambling is fair and open;
  • to protect children and other vulnerable individuals from the harmful effects of gembling.

Among the more controversial changes was permission to license up to eight so-called super casinos throughout the UK. Many opponents of the bill felt that such a move would encourage people to go gambling, so Parliament compromised: the number of such establishments was reduced to one, which was planned to be built in Manchester. However, after Tony Blair resigned as Prime Minister, the plan was slowly wiped out.

The Gambling Act 2005 was considered far-sighted as it also covered online gambling, which was in its infancy at the time, and established it within the same jurisdiction as the popular forms of gambling at the time.

The development of online gambling

Online gambling

Despite the slow start, the popularity of this type of gambling has increased exponentially in recent years, as digital technology continues to meet consumer expectations. Today, online gambling generates more than a third of the gambling industry’s revenue and is the largest sector of one type of gambling, according to the UK Gambling Commission.

If you play online casino games on a regular basis, you are unlikely to be surprised by this information. As well as offering you the opportunity to play your favourite slots in the comfort of your own home, online casinos are more exciting than ever today. High-quality graphics, audio and video are all appealing to gamers. Some of the players now even prefer online gaming to the real experience of going to a gambling establishment.

This progress is based on technology. Higher bandwidth and wireless connectivity meant these games could be played from almost anywhere, at any time of day or night.

It also paved the way for one of the most popular phenomena of online gambling – live casinos. They bring players together with real dealers in real time. This way, gamers get the casino experience without leaving their own living room or any other place. All you need is any gadget. In addition, players are able to communicate with each other via a headset, just as they would in a land-based casino.

Lead players of the online segment

Lead players

Due to the fact that today there are a large number of online casinos, you can easily forget that in the beginning there were only a few brands, smart enough to experiment with virtual gambling.

Many operators who stood at the origins were left behind, but others, such as Casino-on-Net, succeeded. This young company was founded in 1997, but in the near future it has become one of the most successful and recognisable brands of gaming – supplemented by a number of exciting slots, classic casino games and live options.

The growing popularity of online casinos, which attracts more and more players in the market, has helped move to the next revolutionary piece of legislation – the law on gambling (licensing and advertising) in 2014. This introduced a court order that all operators, wherever they are located, must have a licence to operate in the UK in order to be eligible to operate in the country and advertise their services.

Gambling policy

There are opinions that the gambling industry as a whole has been allowed too much over the past 20 years, and it is time to get things back on track. Over the past few weeks, the topic of fixed betting terminals (FOBTs) has become a sensation, received wide media coverage and even led to the resignation of a minister. These terminals are reportedly generating too much profit for betting companies, with the betting limit now at £100.

Gambling

The government has committed to reducing it to £2 by autumn 2018, but the move has been postponed until 2019. Tracy Crouch, a Conservative MP, was so outraged by the postponement that she announced her resignation as minister.

On the other side of the political barricades, the Labour Party promised that if they came to power, it would ban any advertising of the gemblings on television during the match in question, impose a mandatory tax of 1% on any profits from the gemblings and a ban on credit card payments.

The gambling industry, which has generated £13.9 billion in profits between 2017 and 2018, has a very strong administrative resource, so these changes are questionable. The fact that gaming is such a popular pastime means that public support for these measures may be limited.

One thing is for sure: the gambling market never stops developing. With revenues expected to reach $525 billion by 2023, the industry is expected to grow at a rate of 4% annually.

So, despite the fact that there has been a long way to go in the last two decades, there still seems to be a lot to look forward to. And with this level of industry activity, there may be no limit to its development and achievements.


Mobile gambling, EGBA and Banning iGaming during COVID-19

The global market for mobile gambling is estimated at $250.4 billion by 2027

The expected value of the global mobile gambling market by 2027 will be $250.4 billion, and 38 companies will share the influence among operators. Such data was provided by the analytical agency Research and Markets.

The company published its ninth regular report on 185 pages. It talks about how the pandemic will affect production and purchasing power in 2020-2021. It also discusses short-term, gradual recovery by key geographic regions.


In 2020, amidst the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global market for mobile gambling is estimated at $79.5 billion. By 2027, analysts predict an increase in the amount to $250.4 billion, while the total annual average growth rate (CAGR) will increase by 17.8% compared to the current year. This year, the segment is expected to increase by 17.6% compared to the same period in 2019 and reach $141.4 bln.

An early analysis of the impact of the pandemic and the crisis triggered by it showed that by 2027 the casino sector’s CAGR will exceed 18%. According to current data, the segment holds 11.9% of the global market for mobile gambling.

Mobile gambling market in the United States is estimated at $21.4 billion this year. There is a concentration of 26.9% of the world market volume. The second largest market is China. By 2027, its value is estimated at $59.1 billion. Analysts believe that the sector will lag behind the average annual growth by 22.9%.

The markets of Japan and Canada are expected to increase CAGR by 12.8 and 15.7%, respectively, and Germany – by 14%. The report also states that in seven years the total value of the gambling market in the rest of Europe will reach $59.1 billion.

Mobile gambling

And the world poker segment, which includes the local markets of the U.S., Canada, Japan, China and Europe, this year accounted for $9.9 billion, while the total average annual growth rate increased by 13.9%. By the end of 2020, total revenue will amount to $24.5 billion, the report says.

In contrast to the casino sector analysts call Chinese suppliers the most rapidly developing in the field of poker. By 2027, the total market in the Asia-Pacific region (including Australia, India and South Korea) will reach $39.4 billion, while Latin America will expand the sector by only 16.4%.

The most influential and competing companies in the report are Betfair Group PLC, the world’s largest betting exchange, and Ladbrokes Coral Group plc, a British gambling and betting company. The study analyzed data from 38 global gambling companies.

EGBA adopted a code for responsible online gambling advertising

EGBA

EGBA

The European Gambling and Betting Association (EGBA) adopted the first pan-European code on online gambling advertising. The Act details the powers of self-regulation in creating a secure digital environment for online gamblers.

The code applies to all members of the association who work in the territory of European countries. It is also open for signing by other gambling operators, media and related companies that have obtained or are planning to obtain a license from the EU, European Economic Area and the UK. The document has already been ratified by the national gambling associations of Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal.

The norms of the document regulate the Internet gaming advertising industry. The authors took as a basis the provision of the European Union Audiovisual Media Services Directive. It states that self-regulation should be a key element in protecting minors from the harmful effects of online gaming advertising.

The Association has developed an algorithm by which gambling operators and providers will protect children from such content.

Online Gambling

Online Gambling

EGBA requires to moderate the information, limit the time of gambling advertising during the hours of broadcasting children’s content, apply age control on the platforms, use all available marketing opportunities in social networks to check the age of the user. The code also includes guidelines for refusing sponsorship and other cooperation with children’s organizations and events. There are a number of sanctions for violating the rules. Next, the associations plan to consider how to effectively monitor and evaluate the implementation of these new self-regulatory standards.

“The aim of the document is to strengthen responsible advertising measures in a number of European countries. We are very pleased that EGBA members are committed to applying the Code and to demonstrating their commitment to responsible advertising. With special restrictions aimed at social media and the protection of minors, the Code will define industry standards for responsible advertising and help strengthen consumer protection for European citizens”, comments EGBA Secretary General Maarten Heyer.

Banning iGaming during COVID-19 – Are the actions of the authorities justified?

The closure of the online casino market in Latvia was followed by a corresponding reaction from operators who openly claimed that their rights had been violated during such a difficult period for the industry.

Banning iGaming during COVID-19

Banning iGaming during COVID-19

Decisions taken by the authorities

It is known that the head of the country Egils Levits agreed with the bill to close casinos, including those working in the Internet. After signing the document on March 22, all casinos, betting shops and bingo halls were closed in the country. However, the ban did not apply to the lottery market. The decision was taken as part of an emergency situation, as well as to preserve the financial situation of citizens, who, according to some lawmakers, could fall under the excessive influence of gambling during quarantine.

At the same time, it is known that Deputy Yulia Stepanenko proposed amendments according to which online operators could continue their work during the coronavirus pandemic. Deputy Vyacheslav Dombrovskyy shared the same opinion, saying that even after the ban on the market, there would still be small transfers of money between players and unlicensed operators, which the state would not be able to track. In addition, the representative of the legislature noted that the market will lose part of the tax deductions, and the shadow market will only gain a foothold among the country’s gamblers.

Opposition of gambling operators

Opposition of gambling operators

Opposition of gambling operators

The participant of the gambling sector, which gave additional publicity to the topic, was the company Enlabs, working under the brand of online casinos and Optibet bets. Later the company Novomatic, an online operator of Alfor Group, joined its position. In April, it became known that Enlabs sought support from the Constitutional Court to challenge the Seimas’ decision. One of the company’s arguments against the restriction was that the legislators violated the law on property rights, as well as EU regulations on guarantees of freedom of business. The operators stressed that expropriation of property in the public interest is allowed only in exceptional cases and only with reference to certain laws. Also, the company experts admit that the decision of the authorities was not only to remove players from the threat of forming a problem gaming, but also dictated by the excessive haste of legislators. In turn, Latvian Gaming Association (LGA) has already prepared a program of measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus pandemic.