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EU Online Gambling Laws Likely to Get Clarification & Liberalization in 2010

26 March 2010 by Devon Chappell

While the European hasn’t been a major help to online gambling over the years, at least the EU hasn’t been a hindrance. Err…well, it’s easy for me to say at least. There are certainly more than a few iGaming operators who have spent a great deal of time and resources trying to liberalize the European facing online gambling industry no thanks to the EU.

The fact of the matter is that the EU has done very little to clarify and liberalize online gambling laws in the European Union. What has ended up happening as a result, is that several EU member States have been allowed to wield policies that protect state-run gambling monopolies.

Sure, there has been liberalization in several key gaming countries, such as France and Italy, but to say that protectionism does not exist in the European online gambling industry is simply not true. Furthermore, there are several grey areas of regulation – in particular, regarding online poker. Some EU member State’s have embraced poker, while others have not.

Likely seeking to provide some clarification to the laws, as well as mandate solid online gambling policies that would liberalize the European online gambling industry as a whole, is the next President of the European Union. Well, at least that’s the hope. Since the next President will come from Belgium, which has already liberalized it’s online gambling laws, many believe the Belgium official will push to clarify laws that would help create opportunities for online gambling operators in Belgium.

Truth be told, doing so would help iGaming operators doing business in Europe period. Come July, when the Presidency changeover takes place, the EU will be one step closer at opening the entire market in a cross border fashion that would give citizens of any EU nation the right to gamble with operators licensed in any other EU member State.

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