People have been enjoying gambling games for centuries, and even some of our favorite modern table games are over a hundred years old. Up until recently, little had changed in the decades leading up to the start of the 21st century. Since then, one big change has been the development of the online casino industry.
Online casinos are now big business with a huge following around the world. They are popular in every country, even if they aren’t legal in every country. No matter what restrictions governments put into place, or if they try to ignore their existence, online casinos operating offshore are able to provide their services to anyone who’s interested.
This makes it a bit more difficult to tell where online casinos are truly the most popular. For example, the Philippines hosts a huge number of online casinos, but they are primarily geared towards players in China. Similarly, Malta provides a huge percentage of the casino licenses in the world, but obviously not all of those casinos are for their tiny population.
To keep it simple, we’ll focus only on countries where online casinos are legal. In this article, we’ll go over the five countries around the world with the biggest online casino industries.
The United Kingdom has one of the healthiest gambling industries in the world. The country is best known for its love of sports betting and bingo, but online casinos are also hugely popular. There are tons of online casinos for a variety of audiences.
One of the biggest strengths of the gambling industry in the UK is that the country has one of the most trusted licensing bodies in the world. The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) licenses a huge percentage of the world’s online casinos. Unlike some licensing bodies, the UKGC has strict guidelines and is proactive in investigating possible issues. It’s no wonder players feel safe when they see a UKGC certification on casino site.
The Canadian online casino industry might not technically be one of the biggest, but it is one of the fastest growing. Since the process of legalization began recently, the number of online casinos has grown massively and the number of Canadians who enjoy playing at online casinos has risen to match.
A huge part of this rapid success it that Canada has some really great online casinos. For example, Jackpot Village Casino has over a thousand games in its library with a focus on progressive jackpot slots. Perhaps another reason for the success of online casinos in Canada is that Ontario is a hub for video game development.
The gambling laws in the United States are fairly complex. Some are set at the federal level, while others are determined by the individual states. There are also special provisions for Native American land. Of course, we can’t forget Nevada — the outlier where anything goes gambling-wise.
Since the US has confusing gambling laws and online casinos aren’t legal everywhere, a solution had to be found for gamblers who wanted to be able to play without worrying. That’s where social casinos come in.
These casinos don’t have cash prizes for games, so they don’t technically count as gambling in the same way that regular online casinos do. Like the name suggests, these social casinos also have a social media element to them so you can build a community while you play. They are legal in every single state except for Washington.
Australia has a culture that is entirely its own, but the country does still share some similarities with the United Kingdom. One of those is a love of gambling. Australia was one of the first countries to take a proactive stance when it came to online casinos. The Interactive Gambling Act was passed in 2001 and initially it banned most types of online gambling, including both online casinos and lottery betting.
As online casinos became more understood, Australia amended the Act. The first major changes were introduced in 2017, which made online casinos legal. Additional amendments were made in 2019, showing that the country has a commitment to keeping current.
Another country that has taken a modern approach to gambling legislation is Italy. A large percentage of the Italian population enjoys playing gambling games and online casinos provide those who don’t live near one of the country’s limited number of casinos with a perfect alternative.
One of the areas where the Italian government is very strict is in how gambling is advertised. These strict regulations mean that fewer new gamblers who are unfamiliar with the way games of chance work are drawn in to play. This creates a safer system.