A report recently released by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) finds that the majority of European countries have chosen to regulate iGaming and online gambling using a multi-license model.
The EGBA is a Brussels-based trade association representing the leading online gaming and betting operators established, licensed and regulated within the EU.
The multi-licence model allows both private and publicly owned companies to obtain a license to offer online gambling within their State.
With a large majority, the EGBA found that 25 out of 29 European countries have adopted or are in the process of adopting a multi-licence regulatory system for online gambling with monopolies being the exception in the remaining four countries.
State-owned monopolies were widespread up until 10 years ago alongside a complete lack of dedicated regulation. Currently there are four countries in Europe that have a mixed licensing system with a monopoly for either sports betting (Hungary and Slovenia) or casino gaming and poker (Austria and Poland).
Maarten Haijer, Secretary General for the EGBA commented that “it’s encouraging that the majority of European countries have now moved towards multi-licensing regulation for all online gambling products in recognition that it is by far the most effective model for regulating online gambling. Despite this progress, it’s notable that some countries, particularly Finland and Norway, are still very much out of step with the rest of Europe and continue to cling to outdated online gambling monopolies.
Evidence shows us that online gambling monopolies are ineffective and, by narrowing consumer choice, they make unlicensed websites more attractive. Unlike monopolies, the benefits of full multi-licensing are very clear: better protection for consumers, more tax revenues for the state, and better control for regulators over their online gambling markets. The majority of European countries have already realised this – when will the others?”.
Finland and Norway remain the only countries that retain an exclusive state-owned monopoly for all online gambling.
In 2009, only 7 countries (Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Malta, UK) had a multi-licensing regulation for online gambling.
Cyprus (casino gaming and poker) and France (casino gaming) both impose product prohibitions in online gambling.
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