Gambling Policy Conference in Europe

July 29th, 2011  |  Published in Casino News

While back the European Commission (EC) chose to create a report with regards to the current state of online gambling in Europe prior to developing a regulated system. The Commission requested interested parties to provide input as a segment of the consultative process. The deadline to provide this input is less than a month away. However, many parties publicly voiced their opinions at the European Gambling Policy Conference in Brussels.

Cohesive Regulation

Once such speaker was a politician from the European Union (EU), J. Creutzmann. He felt that regulation of the online gambling industry across Europe is the best and only solution as to how to eliminate the current confusion in the market. Unfortunately, national regulation will be unsuccessful in a growing marketplace.

Supporting Arguments

This same opinion has been mentioned by several industry executives, representatives from the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) and other observers. Since there is a lack of standardized regulations between the Member States and the EU, costs continue to increase and fraud and unlicensed gambling are flourishing. The EGBA has highlighted the level of fragmentation of the industry into 27 independent markets with varying taxes and other fees.

This highly discourages responsible gaming organizations from entering the market allowing for less reputable unlicensed owners to move in. In the end, the player will suffer the most. Also, the lack of standardized regulation pushes potential customers to unregulated markets in places like China. A synergized regulation would help eliminate corruption by increasing enforcement.

Sports Corruption

This viewpoint is also consistent with sports. For example, fixing a matching or event in Spain and the United Kingdom is highly illegal. However, in Bulgaria there is a no law against the actions. This has occurred because the EU has not taken upfront action and allowed the burden of regulation to fall with governments in specific markets.

Opposing Arguments

The opposing individuals believe that most Member States of the EU do not want a standardized regulation so they can keep the money within the country. Many also do not want large gambling markets for religious reasons. A representative from the Association of Charity Lotteries agrees with this point of view.

Also most European countries have a fairly robust online gaming regulatory system. However, this proves that there a long way to go. Both sides make compelling arguments so the decision to make a standardized regulatory system will be difficult.

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