The Netherlands to launch online gambling market, Is Australia next?

The year 2020 will probably go down as one of the worst years for humans. Being away from family, and the sudden disappearance of public gatherings and events have been a hard pill to swallow for most people. In the midst of all of these misfortunes, some industries made a killing during the tough times. Streaming platforms like Netflix saw a huge increase in subscriptions in early 2020, just as the lockdowns were announced. However, not only streaming services were benefiting from people being stuck at home for months on end. Video game companies and Online learning service providers were also benefactors from the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The industry that probably saw the most growth during the pandemic was the online gambling industry. The market was fixed at 11% revenue growth in 2020. and is predicted to exceed that going forward.

With lots of countries still in economic turmoil thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many countries are looking at the online gambling industry as a jolt to start their economy back up. However, this is not as easy as it might seem.

Let’s take a look at what happened to the countries that planned to roll out their own online gambling industry and see if the same can happen in Australia.

The Netherlands delays its online gambling roll-out

The Netherlands did not put in place any online gambling regulations until recently. This makes it one of the few major European countries that do not have gambling laws until 2019. In 2019, the Netherlands legislature voted to bring an end to this illicit market and pass laws to regulate and legalize gambling.

Due largely to a 20% rise in gambling in 2018, some politicians have been quoted as saying that the government lacks the tools and structures to tackle criminal activities. In other words, it is easier to tame the beast than to resist it.

However, 2020 has been a tough year for people, countries, nations, and entire continents. Musicians and small business owners seem to be hit the hardest by the covid-19 lockdowns.

The lockdowns didn’t spare the Dutch investments and investment funds. So, when the newly created gambling regulators were established. They received fewer applications than expected.

The Covid-19 Lockdowns have clashed with the public and private sectors. in the Netherlands. The Online gambling regulatory bodies stated a delay to when the law will go into effect. The regulator has now postponed the enactment of the law to September 1, 2021. The original piece of legislation stipulated March of the same year as the launch date.

This decision hasn’t garnered any criticism from the companies that already hold a license. We think that they also see this as a critical step to ensure that the recently developed structures run correctly and that the industry is profitable.

Ukraine’s hurried Launch

Ukraine’s economy wasn’t in the best of places before the Covid-19 lockdowns. With the election of new president Zelinsky, who has committed to transforming Ukraine into a free-market champion. The new administration saw 2020 as the perfect time to legalize the online gambling market that has so much potential.

With this in mind, legislators started working on creating laws as quickly as possible. However, they encountered a problem, that problem was that the rollout was moving too fast to be effective. Unlike the Netherlands, where legislators delayed the rollout by six months, Ukraine’s online gambling laws were in effect a few months after the legislation had been signed into law.

This left the market a bit of an Australian Outback, with investors weighing their chances as valuable information was still being published.

The reason for this support is that the online gambling market could help the Ukrainian government’s flopping budget. However, many people have also criticized their hurried and not methodical approach to enacting online gambling laws.

Around the same time, there are worries of gatekeeping on the market. Investors and gambling companies are reluctant to join the market as there is confusion about the terms of the game.

Until recently, it was extremely difficult for regulators to decide the cost of the license fee. Moreover, after the law passed, law enforcement shut down a gambling hub. Investors and casino operators feel very cautious about the market after these situations.

Despite the obvious gambling issues on the market, online gambling seems to be a safe bet for Ukraine. The license fee is small enough to encourage competitiveness in the industry which is a win-win situation for the country.

Talks about legalization in Australia?

The legalization of online gambling is becoming a trend in 2022 and the hype around is getting bigger. Can Australia follow in the footsteps of the UK and legalize online gambling. Or Is Australia going to stay on the same page as South Africa?

It is too premature to give a precise response, but calls have been made to amend the law in 2020. Some Australian licensors and policymakers also believe that it would be a smart move, particularly given that it might help the economy rebound following COVID-19 and the implications of its relations with China.

It would be economic and legislative in itself since in this difficult time the country could use an additional stream of revenues and has already the regulator who can supervise the new market.

The online gambling industry could be much more efficient with this authority than in two new markets of 2022. It takes less time and is less active in Ukraine than in the Netherlands. Will the legislators follow the trend and support the economy by expanding the list of Australians’ gambling websites? Only time will tell.

What does the online gaming industry expect in 2022?

2021 was no stroll in the park, and 2022 is looking to be another down year when we speak about economic prosperity.

Many policymakers will try to find ways to maintain the effects of the lockdown as new cases are diagnosed every day. We have to agree that certain companies in certain sectors will struggle to make a comeback in the new economy.

However, on the other side of the coin, you have companies that are probably going to keep making a lot of money during this tough time. Those sectors include online sportsbooks, online casinos, video games, streaming services, and many more!

Henry Brown-avatar 15.02.2022
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