The differences in Australian and European gambling laws

As gambling is growing more popular all around the world, should governments be paying closer attention to the specific laws and regulations surrounding this massive industry?

Trends indicate that more governments are shifting towards more lenient policies when it comes to gambling in their areas of control. However, not all legislatures and states are approaching the regulation of gambling at the same rate and in the same manner. Europe itself is composed of various nations that have different approaches to gambling legislation. On the other side of the world, Australia also has unique governing philosophies when it comes to this sector.

The State of the Gambling Industry

2020 and 2021 were very difficult years for the traditional gambling industry. As the world’s economy tried its best to respond to an unprecedented pandemic in the digital age, many commercial establishments struggled to stay afloat. Much of the consumer public was forced to stay indoors and refrain from congregating in public spaces. This meant that various traditional brick and mortar casinos and gambling establishments weren’t getting the kind of foot traffic that they needed to sustain their business.

However, as the traditional gambling industry struggled, the online market began to thrive. Online casinos have been around since the 1990s and have been steadily growing in popularity over the years. However, it was when physical casinos closed their doors to the public wherein gambling enthusiasts were forced to indulge in online casino platforms in order for them to partake in their favorite form of recreation.

The expansion of the online gambling market has only served to increase the global appeal of gambling as a business. And as the gambling industry continues to thrive, various governments are revisiting their specific laws and regulations surrounding the activity. 

Gambling Laws in Australia

Australia is a country with a highly active gambling scene. There are various sites like that contribute to the accessibility and popularity of gambling, whether online or offline. In Australia, citizens are given access to offshore gambling platforms, thus allowing Australians more opportunities to partake in online gambling. 

The gambling laws covering brick and mortar casinos in Australia differ from region to region. Nationwide, it’s the Department of Social Services that oversees gambling activity in the country. In different regions, local institutions like Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Gambling and Racing Commission, Liquor and Gaming New South Wales (NSW), and the South Australia Business and Trade hold the power to regulate physical brick and mortar gambling activities.

However, when it comes to online gambling, the entire nation of Australia is subject to the Interactive Gambling Bill of 2001. The Australian Communications and Media Authority that handles all online gambling-related complaints. 

The minimum gambling age in Australia is 18 years old, and this covers activities that range from visiting casinos to playing pokies and placing sports bets. Australia doesn’t impose taxes on gambling winnings. 

Gambling Laws in Europe

Gambling is legal and regulated in most parts of Europe. That’s why many consider the continent to be the gambling hub of the world. However, since Europe is made up of independent nations, each state will have its own gambling regulations that can differ from one another.

The European Union does not have a total monopoly over how individual countries shape their gambling laws. There are certain general legislations that somewhat apply to all member states. However, the gambling sector, in particular, is one wherein EU nations have autonomy when it comes to drafting and enforcing laws.

Malta is an example of a nation that has a more liberal stance toward gambling. All gambling activities that are done in Malta are regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority. This can include casino gaming, slot machines, roulette, blackjack, poker, bingo, sports betting, and more. For more than two decades, Malta has established itself as one of the most gambling-friendly nations in all of Europe.

Non-EU Countries

For the countries that aren’t members of the EU, many of them are also making substantial progress in terms of gambling regulations. Given that they aren’t member states of the EU, they have a higher level of independence and autonomy when it comes to drafting these laws. 

For example, in Switzerland, it’s the Swiss Federal Casino Commission that handles the regulation of all gambling operations in the country. Only websites that are granted licenses by the commission are made available to Swiss citizens. The government also blocks its citizens from accessing IP addresses of unlicensed gambling sites. Even though gambling is legal in Switzerland, it’s not the most gambling-friendly nation in the continent.

The United Kingdom also has a reputation for being friendly towards gamblers. It offers a variety of different world-class casinos, whether online or land-based, that cater to practically any kind of gambling enthusiast. It’s legal to play casino games in the United Kingdom and they make it easy for their citizens to engage in gambling activities of their choosing. 

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the gambling market is still proving itself to be one of the most lucrative industries in the world. This is why more governments are paying closer attention to gambling activities within their regions. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for governments to continue to ignore the potential economic benefits that come with regulating gambling within their jurisdictions.

This is especially true as the world is continually shifting towards digital goods, products, and services. Online gambling is proving itself to be an economic force to be reckoned with as more people now have access to high-speed internet and mobile devices. Technology has allowed gambling to be more accessible and convenient than ever before.

And as technology becomes more sophisticated, it’s likely that the market will continue to respond positively to these innovations and the gambling industry will continue to grow substantially well into the future. 

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