UIGEA – The Biggest But Not The Only Story

Gavel_Of_JusticeThe story of UIGEA is such a large one for the online casino industry that it is quite easy to forget that it is not the only regulatory battle in town.

There is no doubt that the coming year will be a very interesting one for the online casino industry and that regulatory conditions will be a major component in this. While the ongoing saga of UIGEA and the possibility of its repeal will certainly be the largest story on t he regulatory front and rightly so, it’s also important to remember that it won’t be the only one.

Several European countries will be talking another look at their online gambling legislation in the coming year and we can hope for a greater harmonization across member states with EU directives and laws in the area with particular regard to competition.

Australia is another large country where the current ban is receiving a lot of attention and momentum seems to be growing towards the possibility of the introduction of a regulatory environment as well.

There are also many other countries where regulation is likely to get an overhaul in the coming year as well.

While the trials and tribulations of UIGEA will certainly be the main story in the the regulation area in the coming year it is important to remember that it’s not the only game in town.

Online Casinos Becoming More Local?

JackpotThe business of predicting future events is both dangerous and seductive. Dangerous in the regard that it is virtually impossible not to look a bit silly when one’s predictions are looked at with the benefit of hindsight, and seductive in the regard that it is a basic part of human nature to have a tilt at guessing what is going to happen.

So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at something that has been developing for quite a while now and looks set to continue in the year ahead.

Going back a number of years the online casino industry was like any other Internet based business in that it was virtually completely international. Different languages were catered for but the customers came from everywhere and the casinos were based basically anywhere.

Then the specter of legislation and heavy regulation meant that casinos could only be based in certain jurisdictions. At this stage the customers still came from everywhere.

The next step for authorities was to try to curtail consumer activity as well.

All of the problems that have arisen out of this have caused an localized element to creep into the industry where casinos are set up in certain jurisdictions to target customers in certain jurisdictions.

The general movement by governments to introduce regulatory environments rather than outright bans looks set to increase both the level and speed of localization of the online casino industry in the coming year.

The Hope For A New Beginning

Better_PerformanceThere has certainly no shortage of optimism surrounding the online casino industry in the last few months.

One of the main driving factors in this equation is the possibility of a full repeal of UIGEA in the United States and the introduction of a regulated market there.

The optimism from the possibility seems to have permeated almost everything else in the industry and is informing much of what is happening at this time.

Applications for licenses in most jurisdiction are up while new game launches are also heating up. This is not just in terms of numbers nut also in the area of the complexity of the games being launched and the level of money being spent on marketing campaigns to accompany these launches as well.

As the new year quickly approaches, the hope now would be that all of this activity and optimism can be turned into concrete growth for the industry.

The Mainstream And The Online Casino Industry

Balance_Of_JusticeFor people within the industry, the daily cut and thrust of what is happening with regulations in different jurisdictions or following company news can be all consuming.

When this kind of perspective is combined with the somewhat claustrophobic atmosphere created by the industry, it is easy to forget that in the greater scheme of things that online casino industry is still very much a niche concern in the greater scheme of things.

2010 looks as though it could be a very interesting year from a regulatory standpoint. The obvious focus here tends to be on what is currently happening in the United States and while the ongoing story there is definitely going to be one of the big stories of the new year, there are other regulatory conditions in other jurisdictions that will warrant serious consideration as well.

It is impossible to tell where things will go in the new year but it is vitally important for people within the industry to remember that the industry is far more than the sum of the parts that tend to be concentrated on and that the future of the industry will require it to grow in a more mainstream way beyond the current boundaries that are set out in most people’s thinking about it.

More Challenges Than Just Regulation

Online GamblingIt would be fair to suggest that of all the problems that the online casino industry has experienced over the last couple of years that the shifting sands of the regulatory environment in various different jurisdictions has been the largest.

There is no doubt that it has been a massive problem. The coming year certainly looks promising in terms of having this problem finally sorted out in a number of the larger jurisdictions.

At this time, on idea that the industry must guard against is the idea that the cleaning up of regulatory problems will simply solve everything. This is not the case.

It is only human nature to look at the largest part of an equation and imagine it to be the whole equation. This is something that the people who work within the industry must try to guard against.

The coming year will bring many challenges for the online casino industry and they will not all be of a regulatory nature.

Online And Traditional Casino Interaction?

Tech WatchJust a couple of days ago we did a story here on live dealers and real-time gaming. This has long been a topic that has generated much discussion.

One possible way that the area could develop in the coming year is through an online extension of traditional casinos.

This is basically a situation that would not only allow for real time online gaming with a live dealer but it would also allow the online customers to interact in games with the customers in a a traditional casinos at a physical location as well.

Some have likened the situation to having an element of telephone bidding at auction houses.

The technology that would allow this type of interaction already exists but what does remain to be seen is whether 2011 is the year when this type of real world and online player interaction takes a hold in the casino industry.