Casinos for you
2023 Continues to Be the Year of Expanded Gambling RegulationMainstream adoption and multi-license agreements are what allow online gambling to grow worldwide. Join us as we take a look at the gambling licensing proposed for India, Thailand, and Hawaii.
The new year started with the uplifting announcement that Finland would end its state-run monopoly in favour of an open market, multi-license regime. Not only was this great news for a stifled Finnish gambling market, but we believed it set the tone for the year ahead.
Our prediction was correct based on the recent news that multiple territories worldwide are looking to regulate gambling within their borders. Once legal land-based casinos generate revenue for administrative coffers, it is easy to introduce licensed online gambling.
The Indian Government Promotes Self-Regulation
India is one of the countries where the road to federal gambling law has been rocky. While some states allow it, many do not. This has created an unstable marketplace with erratic laws and several real-money gaming opportunities with little oversight, age-gating, or consumer support.
At the beginning of January, Reuters broke the news that the Indian government has finally put steps in place to fully regulate all real-money gambling in the country. The prime minister's refusal to regulate skill games while leaving games of chance in the dark was the catalyst for this state-wide change.
Any games revolving around spending and winning real money will now fall under the purview of the Information Technology Ministry (ITM). All online gambling operators must form a regulatory entity which will oversee the operators and liaise with the ITM to install legal policies, formalise industry administration, create law enforcement guidelines and other oversight activities.
Thailand Approves Casino Entertainment Zone
Other than limited forms of sports betting and buying a national lottery ticket, all forms of gambling are illegal in Thailand. However, this ruling is set to be overturned in the vacation destination thanks to a proposal by the country’s network of integrated resorts (IR).
The IR proposal outlined the establishment of a casino entertainment zone which would allow casino resorts to be built in several areas that cater to foreign visitors. These casino resorts would be 5-star hotels with state-of-the-art facilities and entertainment venues, including a casino of no more than 5% of the resort's total area.
The proposal, which includes additional gambling activities such as licensed online casinos and sports betting, was approved by the Thai House of Representatives earlier this week.
Hawaii Wants a Seat at the Gambling Table
It cannot be argued that the care and precision that have gone into sculpting the state-specific North American online gambling regulations have been a smashing success. State revenues are at an all-time high, players are legally enjoying their favourite pastime, and problem gambling is virtually non-existent.
Tired of being a pretty face, Hawaii has kicked off 2023 with a proposal to develop parts of Kalihi into the island state’s regulated gambling hub. The fact that Kalihi is a hotbed for black market gambling underpins the decision to make it the epicentre of their regulatory efforts.
There is, however, some contention surrounding who will operate these venues should legislation be approved. Representatives John Mizuno and Daniel Holt believe operators of underground gambling venues would be best suited for the job given their years of experience. Former Honolulu police Deputy Chief John McCarthy argues that anyone entrusted with such an economically and socially impactful responsibility must be ethical and trustworthy.
While we’re not sure we agree with Mizuno and Holt, their support of the bill got it this far, and we wish the Hawaiian gambling community the best of luck!
You might also like