Slots dominate the online gambling industry as the highest demanded games. The sets are available in the thousands online, but the ease of their accessibility varies from one region to another.
Despite this regionality, some websites do not fall under this ban and offer free online slots to play (for example this website).
Different jurisdictions vary in their regulations where online gambling is involved, which makes it challenging to cluster the global market share, growth, and size. Here are some of the different slot markets around the world and how they are faring.
The United Kingdom
The UK gambling market is considered the best around the world. The industry is not only legal but also heavily regulated to serve the interests of both players and casino operators. All betting games, including slots, are regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, which was created by the Gambling Act 2005.
Any online casino wishing to provide these games as well as poker, table games, lottery sets, sports betting, and live games have to acquire a license from the institution. This body puts gambling dens through a series of tests before granting a permit to ensure that the provided slots are fair and secure.
In most global regions where gambling is legal, laws often contradict each other, leaving loopholes for casinos and players to exploit. However, the UK’s Gambling Act 2005 seals such ambiguities with a clear framework on hosting gambling services in the country. The law works to accomplish these main objectives;
- Limiting the access of gambling services by children, which means one has to be eighteen years and older to register in a casino and play slots
- Protecting vulnerable people such as problem gamblers from exploitation by gambling operators
- Ensure gambling services are safe and free of manipulation in the unfair favour of one party
- Preventing gambling from supporting criminal and disorderly activity such as money laundering
The gambling niche has seen exponential growth in the Australian market in the past two decades of the 21st century. The country currently has the highest gambling rate, with more than 80% of its adults indulging in the activity.
Australian online casinos are big on the provision of slot machines, which makes the game a significant contribution to the 200-million-dollar revenue contributed by the industry. The current laws that govern the sector were put in place by the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. This law sought to control the gambling addiction sweeping through the country by focusing on;
- Understanding the new risks that come with online gambling to regulate the industry better
- Point out the effect of problem gambling on not only the family unit but also the community at large
- Keep consumers safe from the stated risk, who are mainly Australian residents
- Limiting and regulating the expansion of the casino sector in the continent
This law makes it illegal to advertise gambling services to anyone in the country through print media, hoarding, and billboards. The Interactive Gambling Act underwent some reviews in 2016 that made the region more open to online gambling services, but restrictions are still in place.
One requirement that is insisted on is that all slot casinos offering real money services must include an option for punters to set a spending limit. Also, it is not possible for gambling dens to loan money to gamers.
After Australia, Asia is the second-largest gambling market in the world. In the region, each country is in control of the gambling laws within its borders, and they are as follows:
- Japan bans all forms of online gambling except on horse racing and motorsports, which makes slot games illegal
- Thailand allows only online betting on the state lottery and horse racing in Bangkok. It is illegal to conduct transactions with online casinos, but players often beat the system by going to land-based casinos to receive their winnings.
- India also bans online gambling except when participating in the national lottery or sports betting
- In China, it is illegal to gamble online. However, Hong Kong and Macau are exceptions to this law since they are only part of the People’s Republic of China but have the freedom to make their own laws regarding the matter.
- Philippines approves online gambling in casinos that have a permit from the PAGCOR, which is the state’s licensing institution
- Vietnam only condones online gambling in the state lottery
In most Asian countries where online gambling is banned, the laws are not strictly applied, which makes it easy for players in the region to flaunt them.
Canada was among the first countries to show a vested interest in online gambling as a revenue source. The government established the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which regulates the industry in the region. The country’s law states that any gambling dens offering slots and other games can only operate in the country with a valid license.
However, due to a loophole, players can seek slot games in casinos with other reputable permits from bodies like the UKGC, MGA, GRA, and AAMS Italy. The sites can also have seals of approval from independent RNG testing bodies including iTech Labs, GLI, TST, and eCOGRA.
Austria is like most other European countries with relaxed laws that allow gambling to thrive within its borders. Nonetheless, the government tries to apply monopoly in the industry with numerous revisions being made to gambling laws since 2010. Austria classified gambling in two different categories – small and big gambling.
The former involved any stakes below fifty cents while the latter is anything above this limit. Small gambling can be conducted anywhere, while big gambling is confined to licensed gambling dens. However, individual states in the country have the freedom to come up with their regulations surrounding the matter. This makes it illegal to gamble entirely in some regions in the country.
Nearly all countries in the Middle east ban any form of gambling, including online slots. In countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Oman, and Iraq, the pastime is punishable by law. Nonetheless, residents still indulge in gambling in overseas casinos that open their services to them.
The popularity and accessibility of slot machines vary in each market. With the varying laws in place, it is practically impossible to observe the peculiarities of slot games by classifying multiple jurisdictions as one.