Gambling in the EU is a business that requires a lot of details to be taken into account. They include legislative peculiarities of a specific country, as well as need to obtain a particular gambling license depending on the jurisdiction.
Separate Gambling Legislation for Each European Country
Today most of the EU countries have adopted gambling legislations that regulate the online gambling business there. However, there was a time when only state monopolies could provide such services, and there was no competition at all. Some ten years ago, the European countries (most of them) were not providing multiple gambling licenses for online operators. Currently, 25 EU members have multi-license regimes that allow international operators to enter their gambling markets. This positive trend creates competition among the companies, as well as lets customers choose between the products and services. The prohibitions and monopolies are finally in the past.
The main reason for that is the lack of competition, which did not allow any market to develop and introduce new technologies. This resulted in consumers’ desire to shift to foreign gambling platforms (illegal ones), which did not bring any money to the governments. Furthermore, it was risky for customers because those operators might have had no license at all, so they could lose their money without any chance of getting it back. Therefore, for the demand to be met, the authorities of different countries have opened their online gambling markets for other participants.
Gambling License Variety
Some Member States require only one license for providing online gambling services. However, in most of them, operators need to obtain a specific permit (or several) depending on the products offered by the company (sports betting, online casino, lottery, etc.). This creates some difficulties for online gambling operators with a wide variety of products. For example, EGBA member companies that have been operating in 19 EU countries have an average of seven licenses in each state.
Different regulations, license costs, and administrative procedures let gambling operators choose where to operate. Today there are 28 mini online gambling markets in the EU, each of which offers different conditions for companies. For example, online casinos require different licenses depending on the country. Thus, companies providing that kind of service will require an exclusive license in each jurisdiction where they are going to operate.
Increase in the Number of Players as a Key Success Factor
Any regulation is considered to be successful when the number of players is constantly growing, and when license fees and other regulatory payments bring good profit to the governments. In other words, the country receives taxes from gambling operators that are allowed to operate there legally. In turn, consumers get protection guaranteed by the national regulator. That is a pattern of how the operator-regulator-customer chain is bound together. Only in this case, all interested parties will be satisfied with what they get.
Therefore, the authorities’ main task is to control each segment of the gambling business in order to get more profits from the operators and prevent violations. Besides, the national policy against gambling should protect players from gambling addiction, as well as help those having this problem. Opening specialized rehabilitation centers, as well as making national lists of problem gamblers, will be the first steps to overcome gambling addiction.
As mentioned earlier, another gambling advertising saga is going to be settled in one of the Scandinavian countries.
Read more: Online Gambling in Eastern Europe: Part 1