Global Gambling Regulations – Updates and Changes in Different Countries

The authors propose that regulators from both industries must acknowledge that both markets contain addictive qualities and draw in similar audiences of risk-seekers. Furthermore, they need to find ways to align their fundamentally distinct regulatory objectives while cooperating to find solutions to cross-industry problems.

Individual-frame measures like self-exclusion, informed choice, signposting to treatment, and voluntary limit setting tend to appear across many jurisdictions with legal gambling; strong system framing however only exists in two.


A new global study on gambling legislation shows that governments worldwide are failing to do enough to safeguard the health and wellbeing of their citizens. Researchers from Glasgow and Helsinki universities examined legislative changes made between 2018-2021 by 33 countries regarding gambling harms; yet no commitment was shown towards rectifying them; moreover, most legislation focused on controlling individual consumers rather than controlling gambling industry itself.

Changes to gambling regulation typically result in increased revenues for gambling operators while simultaneously raising problem gambling rates and other harmful behaviours. This trend is supported by commercial interests who support individual-frame interventions; its dominance can be found across many areas of public policy.


Regulations regulate how gambling operators and players can operate within a sovereign state. These laws set standards for responsible gaming and player protections, anti-money laundering measures, compliance issues and age restrictions as well as taxation policies to control gambling activity in some countries; other countries impose age or tax restrictions on betting activities while still others offer specific guidelines regarding celebrity endorsements or virtual reality (VR) gaming.

Nearly all policy texts included elements of both individual- and system-frame approaches to gambling harm prevention, with individual-frame measures tending toward restricting advertising exposure or protecting so-called vulnerable groups such as underage people and self-excluded and at-risk players; system-frame approaches frequently revolved around an operator’s duty of care toward bettors.

Harmful gambling was identified as an issue to health and wellbeing in most jurisdictions (21/25) examined, yet individual framing predominated, without much consideration given to wider social or economic harms, or potential harms caused to significant others.


Gambling is legal in most countries, although taxes pertaining to it vary from one location to the next, depending on each nation’s needs and preferences. While some nations completely ban gambling altogether, others regulate it heavily or moderately while some others provide tax incentives for land-based and online casinos respectively.

Recent research published in Lancet Medical Journal concluded that global gambling legislation needs to change to protect public health and wellbeing more effectively. It studied 33 jurisdictions that implemented major policy changes between 2018-2021, then employed critical framing analysis on these documents to understand their underlying discourses. It revealed that most were heavily influenced by individual-frame perspectives such as discussing causes of harm such as those related to gambling products or marketing and in measures proposed by legislators such as self-exclusion or providing treatment information; only few explicitly included system frame perspectives explicitly.


Since Curacao implemented stringent gambling restrictions, the landscape of online gaming has undergone drastic change. Gone is the current license holder system wherein GCB grants sublicenses directly to B2C operators; instead an independent licensing authority and real economic presence requirement have been introduced into LOK, as well as new anti-money laundering and responsible gaming measures which aim at altering Curacao’s negative perception as an online gaming jurisdiction and keeping it off of FATF grey lists.

Concerns have been voiced among iGaming providers and operators over this development as it will now cost more to obtain the license and establish local presence will require additional expenditures and lengthier delays when launching casino products. Prior to now, Curacao master licenses could be shared among multiple platforms or operators via sublicences, making the country more appealing for entrepreneurs – something which won’t be the case anymore.

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