eGaming includes activities such as casino games (roulette, blackjack, slot games), sports betting, bingo, lotteries and other new emerging formats. According to Statistica, the global eGaming market value has increased threefold since 2005, with casino games and sports betting taking up the largest proportion of the market.
As eGaming is still an emerging market and regulations are varied from region to region, Think Gaming Global has broken it down to a few key areas.
Europe currently faces one of the most fragmented regulatory landscapes of all and 2015 saw tighter eGaming regulations for many of its countries. Furthermore, new EU taxations on digital services, and the UK’s point of consumption tax put a tighter squeeze on operators’ margins.
Portugal’s government signed a new gambling bill in June 2015 in a desperate attempt to repair their cash-strapped economy with some tax revenues. This decision was heavily criticized by the industry for being overly complex and punitive. Depending on the operator’s yearly income, the tax on poker and casino revenues is now between 15 and 30%.
Italy and Romania on the other hand have decided to do the opposite. In 2015, these countries reduced their eGaming taxes in an attempt to try and revitalise their markets, and to further combat unregulated sites.
Potentially the biggest challenge across Europe is the allowance of cross-border online gaming. The main focus for countries is the activity which takes place within their own borders, with the resulting effect being a fragmented regulatory environment across Europe.
The rules and regulations are evolving rapidly and therefore operators need to watch developments closely.
The potential eGaming market in the U.S. would be hugely lucrative, however currently online gaming is outlawed in the U.S. under the UIGEA legislation. Out of the small number of states in the U.S. which do now allow online gambling, New Jersey has the largest revenues. According to industry experts, as online gambling revenues across the world are rising, more states are predicted to adopt new rulings.
Asia Pacific & India
There is a great deal of variation in the regulations imposed across Asia Pacific countries. China and South Korea, due their population and technology respectively, are two of the largest prospective markets, but both remain closed to online gambling. In 2015, Singapore imposed more regulations declaring all forms of remote gambling forbidden.
India’s legislation regarding online gambling is vague and outdated. Although the Indian government does not actually give out licences to operate online gambling companies, there is no specific law which prohibits the activity. India’s online gambling market has been in consistent growth over recent years due to the spread of the internet and the growth of the middle class.
The online gaming industry in Argentina has been fully legalized since 2002. There are more than 80 liscenced online casinos across Argentina, with bingo and casino games such as roulette being the nation’s favourites. There are different specific rules depending on which of the 23 Argentine provinces you wish to operate.
Mexico has proposed a new legislation in 2014 called the ‘Federal Betting and Raffles Law’. If approved, the Mexican online gaming market could become a single-nation entity that is only serviced by a few providers. Initially expected to be decided by December 2015, the Senate Barbosa has further delayed this ruling.
Brazil currently have very strict laws when it comes to both land and online gambling, however the country’s economic slowdown is suggested to lead to a change in the online gambling regulatory landscape.
So the global online gaming market is varied, complex and rapidly evolving. Think Gaming Global are watching closely for all significant changes across interesting new markets – so look out for our blog updates.