The EU Commission has been examining gambling over the Internet closely especially as it relates to revenues lost in regulated gaming monopolies such as the one in Sweden.
A public hearing will be held next week in Brussels to determine if organized crime elements are profiting from unlicensed online casinos in Sweden, Germany and France.
According to EU statistics there are an estimated 15,000 gambling websites on the internet out of which 85% do not hold a valid license. The hearing will also determine how fees may be collected in the online gambling sector from those residents who choose to participate in unlicensed online casinos as well. The hearing well be open to players, online casino operators, governments and organizations involved in online gaming.
The EU Commission is considering a change of general EU gambling rules which will impact Swedish gambling laws and permit countries to collect taxes and fees from the billions in profits generated by the 85% of unlicensed internet gambling websites.
Experts forecast, that in 2011 in Europe alone, the online gaming industry will generate more than six billion Euros in untaxed profits. By 2013, The Association of Online Gamers (EGBA) estimate the total amount wagered at unlicensed casinos, sportsbooks and Swedish poker rooms will reach up to 3 billion Euros.
The EU Internal Market Commissioner, Mr. Michel Barnier, announced a full investigatory hearing to examine each member country’s rules regarding online gambling and how fees may be levied so that countries do not lose potential revenues. The commission will also examine how fraud, money laundering and compulsive gambling affect countries with more liberalized gaming policies versus those with restrictive policies.