The internet connects almost all corners of the world, and while some nations have a larger footprint than others, there’s certainly plenty of space for content, creations, and preferences from each country. Online environments certainly localise, and even international companies need to bend to the will of the public, creating distinct and even surprising market outcomes. Over the last couple of decades, the online casino gaming industry has greatly centred on Western Europe. With bodies like the UKGC and MGA establishing an industry-standard, gradually, more countries have opened up to iGaming, helping to create a vibrant entertainment space. Here’s how it differs between three very different countries in Europe
British online casino market
The UK has one of the oldest regulated markets for online casino gaming. This is greatly down to the strict state of play enforced by the UKGC, which has earned a lot of trust in iGaming as products need to meet a very high bar. This is why anyone can play online roulette at Paddy Power knowing the games will be fair and that winnings can be withdrawn. From 20p Roulette to Lightning Roulette Live, all titles are play tested and studios are inspected to make sure that the games are completely randomised.
Being such a hot market, developers from around the world (mostly in Europe) sought to make ties with online casinos in the market to test their games. This is why the UK and its platforms often get creations like Lighting Roulette First Person and Age of the Gods Roulette before other places much of the time. With the rules clearly stated and there being plenty of consumers, companies can feel free to experiment.
Polish online casino market
The Polish casino market is distinct from the UK market in that it recently became quite closed. Promotional lotteries and sports betting can take place online, but the likes of slots, table games, and poker were recently handed to a state-run monopoly. While it reported profits from its December 2018 launch to mid-2019, the online gaming space remains much like the land-based casino scene.
There are several land-based gaming venues in Poland, with most of the highest-rated ones being US imports into US hotel resorts. You’ve got casinos in the Warsaw Marriott Hotel and in the Hilton Warsaw City, offering a wide array of games akin to those that they offer in destinations in Las Vegas. Online, it’s big international platforms that rise to the fore, despite the attempts to monopolise the scene.
Norwegian online casino market
Poland is a very recent example of a country trying to monopolise iGaming. In Norway, the state-run lottery monopoly, Norsk Tipping, was given permission to set up an online casino in 2012. Over the last decade, the presence of this monopoly has allowed for online slots with Norsk Tipping, as well as less control for the country. Without regulation and just an enforced monopoly, Norwegian players have sought overseas sites en masse, the EGBA explains.
Clearly, the key to a healthy online gaming market is a structured market, and players are smart enough to know that they can find and usually trust sites licensed in trusted markets. Furthermore, those that try to implement monopolies tend to end up pushing nationals into the international space.