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Europe Faces Major Changes in the Matter of Gambling Policy in 2019

Author: Oleksii Holtvenko
27 August 2019, 15:25
Votes: 2

The European gambling market has been growing exponentially, which makes the governments develop new regulations to prevent problem gambling and control this big industry. 

Europe Faces Major Changes in the Matter of Gambling Policy in 2019

Since the federal ban on sports betting was lifted by the US Supreme Court in spring 2018, many states have adopted laws regulating bookmaking operation on their territories. European countries have used the USA experience as inspiration to update their own gambling legislation.

According to the statistics, the number of online gamblers has already exceeded the number of land-based gambling establishments’ customers. The truly huge online gambling market requires additional regulation, which is why some of the European countries have adopted new requirements regarding online casinos operation in 2019. It should be noted that at present, one of the most popular online casino among gamblers is A huge variety of games offered at this gambling establishment will allow you to find an option that will suit all your requirements.

The latest scandals related to the increasing level of gambling addiction made the governments strengthen their gambling policy in order to limit the damage.

Foreign Operators to Be Welcome in Sweden

A new Swedish online gambling legislation has been in force since January 1, 2019. Its main purpose is to destroy the state monopoly by opening the market to international online casinos that can apply for licenses in Sweden. This step also aims to stop their illegal operation in the country and generate additional revenue. More specifically, operators are obliged to pay 18% of their revenues.

By doing so, the Swedish authorities do not allow money to leave the country because customers are no longer opening gambling accounts in other jurisdictions. For the time being, 30 out of 70 operators have already been licensed, so they can legally provide their services to Swedish clients. By the way, online casino age policy is less strict compared to land-based casino age restrictions – 18+ against 21+ accordingly.   

Foreign Operators to Be Welcome in Sweden

The legislation requires online casinos to take measures aimed at decreasing the number of players suffering from gambling addiction. In addition, it has become easier for the regulator to track fraudulent activities or money laundering. Indeed, nowadays, there is a large number of unfair gambling establishments but it is still possible to find reliable virtual casinos. One of them is, which is a casino, that over the years, has been confirming the status of a credible gambling establishment.

Sweden is famous for its casino games developers and iGaming platforms. Therefore, it is expected that a new impulse caused by the new gambling policy in the country will cause further development of such companies as Play’n GO, Evolution, and NetEnt.

UK Takes Strict Measures against Operators

2018 was a tough year for the gambling industry in the UK. Maximum stakes were lowered by the government from £100 to only £2, and many operators have been penalized for regulatory violations. In addition, betting companies have experienced pressure with regard to their sponsorship deals.

However, according to the authorities, all these actions were aimed at customers’ safety and overcoming gambling addiction in the country. To this end, the government provided more funds for gambling addiction clinics compared to the last year. The regulator represented by the UK Gambling Commission called for the credit card betting ban implementation to make gambling addicts unable to spend money they actually do not have. According to the latest data, about 20% of all online bets in the UK are made via credit cards, which proves the need for such measures.

In 2019, the government increased the tax rate for gambling companies. Starting from April, online gambling operators are to pay 21% of their revenue instead of 15%. Operators are complaining that the tax increase has lowered their income, and there is nothing they can do about it. Furthermore, it is expected that the regulator will introduce another tax (levy) for the UK gambling companies by the end of this year.

UK Takes Strict Measures against Operators

This can force British operators to change the country and try other markets. A perfect choice is the USA after the Supreme Court’s ruling to lift the federal ban on sports betting in 2018. In that regard, those UK gambling operators that already have business in the US (such as Ladbrokes and William Hill) can increase their presence there. 

The Netherlands Opens Up Its Market for Foreign Operators

The state monopoly on online and land-based casinos is finally broken in the Netherlands. The Dutch gambling sector has received new gambling legislation after the Remote Gaming Bill was adopted by the Senate at the end of February. According to the law, Holland Casino platform will no longer be the only one available for Dutch gamblers because foreign operators will enter the market in the next year.

Starting from 2020, operators will be able to obtain a gambling license in the Netherlands. However, high taxes (29% of the gross revenue) can scare off the companies that want to join this market. Furthermore, they will also be obliged to pay another 1.5% to fund the Kansspelautoriteit (the regulator), as well as 0.5% to support anti-gambling programs.

The European Union supported the Dutch authorities’ initiative and expressed the hope that this new regulation would create healthy competition for online gambling operators in the country.

As mentioned earlier, Swedish betting operators have been fined for offering illegal bets on sports events.

Read more: Gambling Legislation in European Countries

Read more: Online Gambling in Eastern Europe: Part 2


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