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EU Looks to Scrutinize Online Gambling Laws

16 July 2014 by Devon Chappell

european-union-countries-mapThis week, the European Union (EU) announced that it would focus on imposing stricter online gambling rules within the burgeoning online casino industry. The new focus will target underage gambling throughout the wide ranging and successful European online gaming market.
There are currently several online casino gambling markets throughout Europe and most certainly more to come. In an effort to ensure safety and fair play for all markets in this huge but fragmented market, a new look at laws will continue to regulate the exploding market.

In Europe, most any and all forms of gambling are available – from poker to sports wagering and everything in between. The worldwide online gambling market is soaring, with Europe being one the most successful. EU findings show that in 2012 alone, 7 million Europeans gambled for real money at online casinos where wagering is regulated throughout the region. 7 million players equates to about 45% of the worldwide internet gaming market. It is also reported widely that the worldwide online market raked in $33 billion (24 billion Euros) in 2012.

Regulated online gambling took off throughout Europe, after countries such as Malta and Britain helped paved the way. Other countries, such as the Netherlands and France, did not jump onboard right away, but pressure by demand forced these country’s to open up to the concept and liberalize their markets, although at varying levels.

In this week’s EU announcement, an EU spokesperson stated that it seeks to “better protect all citizens, and in particular, our children from the risks associated with gambling”. The EU is calling on all European online casino markets to match its enthusiasm in protecting consumers. This includes casinos themselves. Seeking to scrutinize laws to better convey an utmost level of protection for players throughout the EU in an era of digital advancement is the EU’s heightened goal.

The new plan is to guarantee that online casinos be the most transparent in all ways, including clearer warnings on casino websites, more thorough registration requirements to better eliminate underage gambling online, and further develop effective forms of support for addiction. The EU is also looking to curtail advertising of online casino sites and make sure ads are also free of pressure to wager and honest about odds.

The European gambling industry is looking for better uniformity in general, and this new focus on gambling in Europe should be well received. Here at OnlineCasinoSuite, we have to agree. As a site designed to advocate the safest, most reputable casinos online, consumers certainly ought to have the best protection throughout the EU and beyond. An EU-wide enforcement level for online gaming is evidently necessary just as it is in the US. That said, perhaps the US will take note and begin a nationwide form of regulation as it sees the European market trying to join in a blanketed form of regulation. Like in the US (and throughout Europe), gambling online is a heated issue. The fine line between being a source of state revenue and the potential cause of harm is easily crossed by many.

Interestingly enough, the EU said it decided to draft recommendations, versus outright legislation, as the latter takes too long and easily lacks being a sure thing. With several European countries in the process of creating national legislation, the EU recommendations can be used as assistance.

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