Publication date: 02 May 2023
April 2023 has become a player protection month in the gambling market. Governments of different countries are introducing new bans in order to protect users and prevent gambling addiction. Among the most popular measures are setting betting limits, banning the use of credit cards and restricting advertising.
The main event in April is that on 27 April 2023 the UK published a “White Paper” with basic rules for the promotion of betting and gambling in the country. This is the first reform in 18 years and the document itself has been awaited by market participants for over 2 years.
How can gambling be promoted in the UK now? At the top of the list is player protection. Limits have been set: all for players from $2.5 to $18.5 per spin, for players aged 18 to 24 – half that. In addition, players “at risk” must put themselves on a special register of the regulator (the UK Gambling Commission), provide proof of no criminal record, when spending £1000 per day or £2000 for 90 days to confirm their income. The operators for their part are obliged to transfer 1% of their income to fight gambling addiction. Blocking the websites of illegal bookmakers and casinos will be simplified: at the request of the regulator directly to the internet service provider. Restrictions on bonuses and promotions are also being introduced. Read more about the new rules for the UK gambling market in the upcoming 3SNET Reviews.
Kenya is planning gambling law reform. A bill amending the current Betting, Lotteries and Gambling Act has been introduced in Parliament on 19 April 2023. Interestingly, for the first time it is proposed to set not a maximum but a minimum betting amount: not less than twenty shillings (about USD 0.15). Besides, the bill envisages creation of a new regulator: instead of the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) will appear.
Another restriction is planned to be introduced in Australia: it will be prohibited to use credit cards for payment at casino and betting sites. The legislation is due to be enacted by the end of 2023. The Communications Oversight Service will have additional powers to enforce the ban by using bank identification numbers to search for and block credit card payments.
In Estonia, they want to ban gambling advertisements. In an interview, future interior minister Lauri Läänemets said this is a necessary measure to combat gambling addiction. In her opinion, current Estonian legislation is “too lenient” and sports betting is “advertised from morning till night”.
An important measure to protect users of casino and betting sites from gambling addiction is the creation of a register of players who are banned from gambling. In April 2023, new information on numbers also emerged.
- In Bulgaria, 7,000 people have registered in the gambling self-elimination program. The registry was launched at the end of 2022 and so far about 2,000 applications for exclusion are received each month.
- In Ukraine, the registry is small but actively growing, with 245 of the 687 players on it since the beginning of 2023. Of these 643 are men and 44 women. Most of the addicted players are between 21 and 40 years old (550 people), least of all – from 51 years and older (33 people). Most users excluded themselves on their own, but some applications were made by relatives: 45 from mothers, 13 from wives and eight from fathers.
Russia has also prepared a new bill aimed at protecting gambling addicts. Firstly, such gamblers will be given the right to enter themselves into the register of gamblers who have given up gambling. Bookmakers who will accept bets from a person entered into the register, will be fined from 300,000 to 500,000 roubles. The new regulation will come into force on 1 March 2024.
Denmark is actively getting involved in player protection. The government is ready to allocate 1.5 million dollars annually to eliminate the harm caused by gambling. According to a 2022 study, 500,000 (or 9%) of Danes have gambling problems.
Brazil also continues to reform its gambling laws. A new bill has been drafted that would impose a 15% tax on gross gambling revenue (GGR) for operators. The cost of licenses (for a period of 5 years) has also been named: USD 5.92 million / BRL 30 million. It is planned that after the final approval of laws and the beginning of gambling regulation in Brazil, 13 betting companies will receive licenses and the budget will get 1.2 billion dollars / 6 billion reais annually.
At the same time, the Central Bank of the Latin American state has published data on Brazilians’ betting on offshore bookmakers’ websites. In the first quarter of 2023, Brazilians spent 2.7 billion dollars on these purposes and received 1.7 billion as winnings. Experts predict that by the end of 2023, the total volume of bets made by Brazilians on illegal betting sites will reach $11 billion.
The Netherlands has calculated the number of gamblers. According to the Netherlands Gambling Authority (de Kansspelautoriteit / KSA), there are 2.1 million accounts with gambling operators in January 2023. This is 2.6 times more than in January 2022! The report also shows that young people play and bet the most, while losing around €54 per month (per account) with an average loss of €143. Very soon, from 1 July 2023, new rules for online gambling will come into force in the Netherlands. From now on, organizations that place advertisements will have to give users the opportunity to refuse viewing them. Furthermore, ads cannot be targeted at players under the age of 24 and gambling addicts.
The first step towards regulation and possible legalization of gambling activities in the country has been taken by India. Here, changes have been made to technological rules that reclassify gambling and betting. Whereas previously it was “content inconsistent with existing legislation or contrary to it,” the new definition is “a space where users deposit cash or other valuables in expectation of winning”.