Gambling, betting and even visits to the casino are nothing new but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t changing and evolving. Throughout the world, there are still some countries that consider certain types of betting illegal, so the regulation of it and taking part in gambling isn’t something that is a black and white scenario.
Although gambling in its basic form is nothing new, we have seen a shift in the way people gamble over recent years. This is especially true over the last 2 years which saw the way that many people chose to gamble taken away from them. Online gambling has seen a massive increase in uptake over the past 24 months and this growth is not something that is expected to decline anytime soon. When land based casinos were forced to shut, those that enjoyed the experience of gambling and placing a bet were forced to take their hobby online and that contributed massively to growth throughout the iGaming industry.
A Look at Land Based Casinos
Although land based casinos have been regulated for a long time and these regulations are often switching and changing there are some things that are less of a worry. For example, casinos are only open at certain times, which means that people are less likely to spend a whole day gambling. The social element also means that people are more likely to visit a casino with friends rather than bet away all of their money because they feel lonely stuck at home with no interaction.
Visiting a physical premise to place a bet is nothing new – betting shops, betting stands at football matches and land based casinos have all been around for a number of years. As these are nothing new we have had a good number of years to amend regulations to keep up with betting demand and ensure that as many people as possible have a safe and secure betting experience.
The Growth of Online Gambling
Online gambling in itself is nothing new, but thanks to technology the experience you get today within the iGaming industry is very different to the one you would have had even 5 years ago. Online casinos are now available on smartphones and devices which means it is easier and quicker than ever to get involved with online gambling. Not only that, but technology invested into these online gaming platforms means that games are more exciting than ever – various levels, varied ways to win and even ever-changing games helps to capture and keep the interest of those interested in gambling online.
On top of that, online gambling is no longer a solitary pastime – online games are becoming much more interactive than they ever were. Video gaming, live-action casinos and playing with a video link to a real dealer bring a different element to online gaming – and technology is continuing to adapt and evolve so we’re likely to see even more changes to the iGaming industry in the future.
Are Current Regulations Keeping Up?
As land based casinos have been around for so long and with relatively little change to the way that they offer their services, regulations have been able to keep up pretty well with keeping gamblers safe. There have been some small changes to betting recently – such as upping the age that people can buy a ticket to the National Lottery in the UK and the way that slot machines are able to work but fundamentally the way that people are able to bet has not changed.
However, we have seen a massive shift in the way online gambling works over recent years, even in just how much more accessible it has come. There are some opinions that this quick change in the way people gamble has meant that regulations surrounding the iGaming industry have been unable to keep up. That said, there are changes coming into play from the end of October which do affect the online gambling industry, so there are certainly ever-changing regulations in place.
Should Regulations Be Separate?
There are some arguments for having a separate governing body for the iGaming industry, rather than the UK Gambling Commission dealing with all of the gambling regulations alone. However, gambling sites in the UK are already subject to ever-changing scrutiny and regulation so having this spate from general gambling rules is unlikely to be beneficial.
What does need to happen is for the UK Gambling Commission to be much more up to date with the ever-changing technology and ensure that their regulations are put in place promptly. For example, throughout lockdown, we saw a large number of social media influencers turn to social media to promote things like gambling and there are some arguments for the regulations not keeping up with this quick enough. If the only way for timely changes to gambling regulations to be made is for them to be a separate regulatory body then this should probably happen – however realistically, as long as there is a governing body that is keeping up with technology and making regulation it doesn’t matter if this is separate or not.
The Future For Gambling Regulations
Gambling in the UK is likely to always be allowed but regulations will continue to be adapted in order to keep up with current gambling trends. Technology is allowing these trends to catch on quicker so it is likely in the future that regulations will be able to be changed and new rules to be made quickly. Some of these might surround affordability checks for those gambling online and ID checks for those making online gambling accounts. Realistically we can’t say for certain what the future is likely to be for future gambling regulations as we don’t know what future gambling trends might look like, but we do know that the UK Gambling Commission will continue to make these regulations for the foreseeable and that there are no plans for the iGaming industry to have a separate regulatory body.