It’s a recurring theme in Commonwealth countries that local online gambling operators cannot offer their services to the local population. Meaning that if there is a sportsbook that is located in the United Kingdom, it can’t service UK citizens for some reason. However, they have the ability to serve pretty much anybody else that does not prohibit online gambling.
What these Commonwealth-based online gambling operators do is they exchange customer bases on the regular. For example, the Aussie operators cater to the Kiwis and vice versa. The Canadian operators cater to the UK population and etc.
But why exactly do countries have such weird online gambling laws in the first place? Isn’t it counterproductive? Let’s find out.
Missed tax money
The first issue that we see is that local governments do not receive taxes generated from offshore gambling operators based on their performance. Meaning that should those offshore gambling operators become too popular in the country, the local gambling industry would simply fall through because of the restrictions.
Allowing local land-based casinos to have online operations alongside their casinos would solve this problem, but then a whole slew of additional competition is going to enter the market and only the big players will be able to make it big.
The only exceptions
The only exceptions that land-based casinos have a clear advantage in are the VIP rooms. You can’t really get the feel of a VIP offering on an online platform now, can you? That’s why casinos try to push their VIP offerings as much as possible and make them as comfortable as possible as well.
For example, the Canadian VIP casinos try to promote these features much more compared to their slots or roulette. Similar things can be seen in places like Macau, where casinos fight tooth and nail to retain all of the benefits offered by VIP rooms, such as no smoking restrictions and unlimited drinks. Overall, the Commonwealth laws about online gambling are quite hard to comprehend in a monetary manner.
The governments see them as measurement against local casinos getting too out of hand in terms of offerings, but in reality, it would be much easier to control local casinos compared to offshore operators, even if they have a license.
Could these laws change?
At the moment, large gambling markets like Australia and the UK are in constant development of their gambling regulations. To put it simply, these jurisdictions want to restrict gambling as much as possible, so that the local population has a lot more freed up spendable income, meaning an increase in consumer purchasing power.
Therefore, we could see either even stricter regulations on online gambling platforms in the future, where specific country-based operators can cater to specific demographics or a complete ban.
But in all honesty, most of the gambling community agrees that allowing local casinos to operate online would provide much better safety in terms of withdrawals and deposits, as well as customer relations.
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