Retrospective of iGaming Regulations Worldwide- January 2021

The year has just begun, and so many regulatory changes took place during the first month. An impressive number of the US states opened their doors for sports betting, while some European countries have been tightening their protection measures.

As for Brazil, a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Economy announced that July 2021 is the deadline for the finalization and release of the regulations to govern the country’s sports betting industry. If everything goes well, the market should launch in 2022.

If you want to take a closer look at all the modification which took place in iGaming markets of the USA, Europe, and Asia, stay with us and keep reading!

Brief Recap of Regulatory Modifications from the USA

Let’s start with the most significant changes on the federal level. The First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Wire Act should only apply to sports wagering and not to any other form of interstate gambling. The ruling represents a rejection of the DOJ’s appeal against the 2019 decision of the New Hampshire District Court which also found that the Wire Act should only apply to sports betting.

Our first destination is Washington…

… where the legislators presented a bill SB5212 to permit the state’s racetracks and card rooms to offer retail and limited online sports wagering. As far as declared, wagering on college sports activities that take place in the state or involve a team from the state would not be allowed, and the same goes for esports.

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, the DGE prohibited online gambling operators from offering promotions to clientele to reverse withdrawals from their accounts. As for Colorado, the SuperBook rolled out its web-based platform for sports betting on 07 January 2021.

In Virginia…

… legislation which aims to greenlight the approval a greater number of sports betting licenses was introduced to the House. According to the included language, the HB1847 should issue additional four certificates. Moreover, FanDuel became the first operator to launch its online sportsbook in the state on 21 January 2021.

Mississippi’s Senator Scott DeLane came up with legislation to authorize online sports wagering in the state. As written in the bill SB2396, commercial suppliers would be allowed to offer one online sport betting skin per certificate. However, the number of licenses that would be permitted or accompanying tax rate were not defined.

The legislators of New Mexico…

…presented a bill HB101 which aims to approve retail and online sports betting as well as land-based table gaming at racetracks in the state. In charge of granting permissions will be New Mexico Lottery Board, whose duty will also be to develop the necessary regulatory and taxation framework for the industry by 01 December 2021, provided that the bill is passed.

Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the bill SB991 to permit the interstate online poker bill into law. Scheduled to take into effect 29 March 2021, the document will permit online poker operators licensed in the state to share player and liquidity pools with other states who have also regulated the activity. Moreover, the Gaming Control Board greenlighted nine suppliers to deliver sports betting services in the state on January 22.

What about Connecticut?

Governor Ned Lamont announced his support of legalizing sports betting and online gaming. Also, legislators presented SB146, which would allow the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot Tribes to operate retail and online sports wagering as well as online casino gaming. Furthermore, the same document would also permit the state lottery to offer online draw games and keno sales.

As for Georgia, Representative Ron Stephens came up with legislation that should approve sports wagering in the state. As stated in the bill HB86, six operators are supposed to receive certificates to offer services at a tax rate of 16%. The State Lottery would be in charge of the regulations.

Meanwhile in Florida…

…Senator Jeff Brandes reintroduced legislation to regulate sports betting, presenting three different bills SB392, SB394, and SB396. Those documents should put the state lottery in charge of regulating the said activity. However, the bills did not include language which would give approval to the Seminole Tribe to offer sports wagering. According to the Tribe, they have the exclusivity to offer this service as it is classified as Class III gaming.

What’s the situation like in Oregon?

State Governor Kate Brown presented legislation to expand online sports wagering and open the market to an unlimited number of commercial operators. As per the bill, HB2127 Racing Commission is expected to develop regulations to govern the expanded industry and give certificates licenses to all the interested parties provided that they meet the licensing requirements.

Kentucky’s market stands a fine chance to be enriched with more activities, as the representative Adam Koenig introduced legislation HB241 to authorize sports betting, interactive poker, and daily fantasy sports. Indiana’s Senator Susan Glick came up with legislation to allow the operation of video gaming machines in veteran’s service organizations, in order to mitigate the financial losses caused by the current circumstances.

January was more than dynamic for New York…

…as its Governor Andrew Cuomo stated his support for the legalization of online sports betting in the state. In his State of the State address, Cuomo came up with his proposal to approve the said activity via a single operator model. One of the major requirements is that the operator is selected by the Gaming Commission. In addition to this, the company must have a partnership with one of the state’s four commercial casinos.

Furthermore, legislators introduced bills to the Assembly and Senate to regulate sports betting via the internet. Bills A1257 and SB1183 were presented to their respective chambers to permit the state’s commercial and tribal casinos to offer online sports betting at a tax rate of 12% of gross win plus a fee of 0.2% of turnover to be directed to the sports governing body.

Iowa’s sports fans had quite a great reason to celebrate, as BetMGM launched its mobile sports wagering platform on 04 January 2021 in partnership with the Diamond Joe Casino.

Highlights from Europe

The Government of the Netherlands announced a further one-month delay from the enforcement date of the Remote Gambling Act to 01 April 2021. As a consequence, the launch of the online market is also rescheduled to 01 October 2021

As for Finland…

… Veikkaus brought forward the introduction of mandatory identity verification on gaming machines in the country. This decision took effect on 12 January. On top of that, the Government also proposed the extension of the mandatory ID verification measures across all forms of gambling by 2023.

In Germany, a trade association for gaming machines (DAW) announced it had received significant public support for its petition in opposition to proposals to close down any gaming machine hall within 500 meters of a school or another gaming machine hall in Rheinland-Pfalz.

France’s main focus was customer protection, as ANJ announced it would move forward with the digitalization of the country’s self-exclusion scheme. This would allow gamblers to restrict themselves online rather than in person at a police station as currently required.

Which About the Asian Market?

Let’s start with Japan, where the Wakayama prefecture published the implementation policy for its integrated resort proposal bid. The policy outlined the prefecture’s specific demands for the resort in addition to the national requirements outlined in the country’s basic IR policy. Currently, the prefecture has received proposals from two applicants, Clairvest and Suncity Group.

In addition to this…

… the Yokohama prefecture published the implementation policy for its integrated resort proposal bid. At the same time, it launched the request for proposals process for operators wishing to develop an IR in the province. The process is scheduled to close in June 2021

As for the Philippines, the Supreme Court granted a stay of execution against the imposition of the recent 5 % tax on POGOs. As far as the Court ruled, the tax was unconstitutionally included in legislation intended to assist the country’s economic recovery from the current crisis.

Finally, the Government of China passed legislation to impose strict punishments on citizens who operate gambling businesses both in the country and overseas. The new law also specifically criminalized businesses that solicit and facilitate Chinese citizens travelling abroad to gamble.


“H2 Gambling Capital”, January 2021.

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