Online Gambling In The EU

European online gambling

Online gambling thrives in the EU, indeed it is one of the fastest growing sectors of the shared

economy, but it isn\’t all plain sailing for gamblers or those that provide services to them

The European Union, or EU, is now a 28 country strong political and economic union that spans

1.6 million square miles and contains, at present, some 507 million people. Governing through

supranational institutions and intergovernmental agreements the actual European Parliament is elected

once every five years and was born out of the organizations set up at the end of World War II to unify

the nations of Europe in an attempt to make war unthinkable and materially impossible.

The European Coal & Steel community gave way to the European Economic Community in the fifties

and successive organizations have continued the same efforts towards the unification of a disparate

group of nations that has grown substantially from it\’s six nation origins. In 1993 the Maastricht Treaty

created citizenship of the EU and the subsequent Treaty of Lisbon introduced a bill of rights, including

the right for nations to leave the EU if they so choose.

Internet Gambling In The EU

• Gaining popularity year on year

• Revenues to top 13 billion Euros in 2015

• National differences create issues

Theoretically a free market exists within the EU between member states but the opening up of

protected markets has been slow and some remain closed to foreign businesses or operate under local

restrictive regulation. The various nations have very different attitudes to gambling, and those are

reflected in their national gambling laws, which supersede EU gambling laws. Thus online service

providers might in theory have access to the huge market potential of the EU, in practice that isn\’t

entirely the case.

Consumers too may find themselves in a nation where the typical tussle of local party politics has

thrown up barriers to gambling or accessing online casinos in the EU despite being residents of a nation

that is part of the EU. The process of harmonizing markets across the EU is ongoing and likely to be a

lengthy one, but the die is cast and it is only a matter of time before what took off in the mid-nineties

comes home to roost in the 21st century.

Online Gambling Arrives In Europe

The technological leap forward that the internet provided allowed a whole host of new activities to be

facilitated and it wasn\’t just the computer game freaks that found something to do online. The provision

of the first sportsbooks and gaming sites kick started a wave of developments in which demand led

technology to develop at an accelerated rate and competition kept the fickle consumer at the center of

design. The giants of the business today that operate throughout those nations in the EU that permit

them to do so have grown the industry since these beginnings into an expansive business with massive


The Many Online Gambling Jurisdictions Of The EU


One of the fundamental issues with online gambling in the EU is the interface between the community

members and the central European bureaucracy and then its somewhat jaundiced relationship with the

internet and the technology that drives it. Each member state has its own gambling laws and regulations

which means providers of say an EU poker room must adhere to those in order to operate in that

nation, and given some of those requirements can be quite stringent can create legal problems for both

players and providers. The range of attitudes is remarkable, although perhaps not when you consider

the EU has 24 official languages.

Online Gambling In The EU: Where One Size Doesn\’t Fit All

The complexity of the EU\’s various legal jurisdictions are not, however, the only challenge to a market

whose members only share history that tends to involve killing each other. Cultural differences are

huge from north to south and east to west, living standards are by no means even and the banking crisis

left many nations within the EU cobbling together “austerity” budgets to cut back on expenditure and

tighten their belts. Providers have to do more than just provide translation and with customer demand

leading the way customer service in a familiar language is right behind it.

Paying To Play In the EU Today

Whilst the cultural familiarity of a site might make a player choose it over a rival in a straight contest

twixt the two, the major factor in a gamblers choice of site providing internet betting in the EU will

be the accessibility of payment, and the ease with which he or she can transfer monies to and, with any

luck, from their chosen site. There are various standard methods of payment available on most sites

with the best of them offering an all-encompassing range of options that cater to players both inside the

EU and much, much further afield.

The EU; A World Of Difference For Online Gambling

With national governments policies still trumping those of the central European Union, particularly

the lackluster observance of Article 49 of the Treaty On European Union that stipulates markets,

particularly service markets, should be open to all companies licensed to operate in any of the other

countries. Sadly this doesn\’t reflect reality and despite the efforts of the European Gaming & Betting

Commission the full and open market envisioned in the treaty is still a long way off, with any change

likely to be slow in coming, letting the law once again lag behind the demands of consumers on the


New Technology & Age Old Crimes

As with every other internet facility security has become a major issue for all concerned in the online

gambling business. A sites reputation can be sullied by even the slightest slip in security. The public

are constantly warned of the dangers by an old school media that loathes the competition, and the

introduction of PayPal has done much to remove the danger from all but the most haphazard of internet

users. As an industry the online gambling world has done much to counter the rather inflated sense of

mistrust the public have in transactions of that type.

The Future Of Online Gambling In The EU

It is reasonably forecast that the revenues from online gambling in 2015 will reach 13 billion Euros and

take a growing 15% of the overall gambling market within the EU. These figures are up considerably

year on year and demonstrate a sustained growth that will only be increased as more nations chase

the revenues from gambling rather than merely attempting to prohibit it and failing to do so. Mobile casinos are the trend today but the future is likely to bring in more technology to provide an ever easier

service that conforms to the desires of the public at the time.

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