EU Wants Common Platform For The Regulation of Gambling Online

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Friday 3 May 2013 1:07 pm

It is no secret that the European Union finds the online gambling industry to be problematic . But the problems actually don’t lie with the industry, it is in the way EU countries just do their own thing with regards to trading regulations. The EU is committed to a policy of free trade within the Union, but there are all kinds of issues that come into play, so individual countries tend to make their own laws regarding the industry.

One of the chief concerns of many EU partner countries is the problem of match fixing. So, they attempt to put an end to corruption in sports by stopping activities such as online sports betting, and it is this that affects industry players. While the European Union themselves battle with the case of creating a unified, or rather, common, platform for operators in the Internet gambling biz.
The real problem seems to be that the gambling sector is vulnerable, so protection, as well as stamping out corruption is the EU’s main points of focus.

There has also been a great deal of deliberation surrounding inconsistencies in the rules that apply to online gambling ops within EU member nations. We have seen evidence of this in Belgium, Germany, France, and other member states. These states seem determined not to come to the party in terms of this industry.

Their actions have been seen in the light of a monopolistic approach, and this

goes against the basic mandate of the European Union – that fairness and free e-commerce is an integral part of the structure.

The European Commission has requested industry input, and responded with an action plan, however, this has made very little difference to the way in which certain countries respond. Despite the fact that Michel Barnier – the EC Commissioner for internal trade has called for member states to fulfil their obligations, they simply go their own way.

Apparently there are five areas in which increased cooperation is required, but Mr. Barnier has also mentioned that the EC is “not proposing EU-wide legislation on online gaming”. However, they are still proposing that a common protection principle be adhered to, as well as requesting that all member states follow an across-the-board set of actions.

It is obvious that both the EU and member states have concerns such as underage gambling, cheating in sports, and money laundering, but these issues should not be used as an excuse for monopolistic gambling practices to take place. Age verification technology and other tools to protect the vulnerable have become highly sophisticated – operators in regulated jurisdictions are visibly making use of these. However the new EC action plan wants advertisers to be more responsible too.

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Sweden Takes Action To Change Gambling Regulations

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Friday 8 February 2013 4:24 pm

We often come across news items regarding big wins at online gambling websites. These wins are often nabbed by online slots players, and we are talking about millions of Kroner, not just trifling wins. But, despite the fact that the Swedish winters are long, and online gambling is a fun way to spend those long, lonely, dark, endless nights, the Swedish Prime Minister is taking his life in his hands by proposing changes to gaming laws.

The motivation for the changes is apparently due to some stats release by the National Audit Office. The stats were released in June 2012, and changes are scheduled to be implemented by mid-2014. According to the news report, there has been an “increase in pathological gambling has been identified among certain groups of gamblers”.

While legislation will be implemented to take away certain gambling freedoms a couple of years down the line; it pays to remember that time flies fast when you are having fun, and online gambling is nothing more than having a little harmless fun. If problem gamblers are on the increase, then people are the problem, not gambling per se. This is something we have always maintained, but the real issue seems to be that competition between illegal or unauthorised gambling providers seems to be the main cause of Swedish residents gambling problems. Again, it seems to us, that people are the problem not gambling itself.

By the 31st May of this year we should know exactly what proposed law changes will be. But we have absolutely no doubt that online gambling will be affected. Changes in regulations will more than likely affect high risk areas the most, and as online gambling is a numbers game, with more numbers than ever before playing these games, it stands to reason this industry will be targeted.

However, there is some light at the end of the dark tunnel of those cold lonely nights for the Swedes. It is perceived that current legislation is simply weak in the area of social protections, so the aim is to strengthen these weaknesses, not institute outright bans. Bans in countries which disallow gambling online are often perceived to be bans on access to information, as well as an infringement of rights to choice. No radical overhaul of the present systems is to be expected.

Even state-controlled Svenska Spel was named in the report, and they are one of the very few “legal” Swedish gambling providers. Here it is interesting to note that they also have a very strong online presence. They offer bingo, casino games, sports betting and poker; live and online as well as throughout the entire Swedish entertainment industry, which means restaurants and pubs, as well as bingo halls – the lot.

They have been offering online poker through the Boss Media (now GTECH G2) platform since 2005, which makes them the only authorised product in Sweden, so, where does the “competition” factor come in? Apparently residents have easy access to all kinds of online gambling sites, so, all the Swedish Government need do is require fair individual licensing and regulation, just like nearly all of the EU.

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