2016 Outlook Bright for EU Gaming

Published January 4, 2016 by Lee R

2016 Outlook Bright for EU Gaming

Despite publicized issues, who would've thunk so many countries would be regulating by the end of 2015?

The year is done, and despite some turbulence, Europe has apparently successfully navigated the greatest overarching issue facing EU integration: getting out of the gate.

Adaptation Carries the Day

The regulations got tighter, but operators and governments got more adaptable as well.

Various regulatory issues were introduced which now will have to be sifted through, such as a new EU tax on digital services and a UK point of consumption tax which is still eating into profit margins of operators and still may be discouraging a good amount of new entry. These new issues have only served to increase the need for consolidation of rates and policies amongst gambling operators who can enter the EU through any number of the many member countries who have implemented regulation structures.

Amalgamation of Approaches

Also, smaller EU nations facing dire economic consequences generated regulation models that looked more like relief bills. For instance, the cash-strapped Portugal government was panned for signing a new online gambling bill in June that taxed casino and poker revenue at a whopping 15-30 percent fixed to each operator’s annual income, with the former state monopoly operator spared 50 percent of the new tax rate.

In Italy and Romania, a much more appealing approach was on display as lower tax rates were offered to invigorate the economy and discourage unregulated sites.

The notion of integrating markets surfaced as well, with heavyweights Italy, France and Spain opening talks for online poker liquidity sharing.

For every online gambling regulatory breakthrough, there was often seemed an equal opposite reaction, with strong conservative opposition to bills popping up in Italy and other EU countries such as the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany.

Nonetheless, the Netherlands is expected to issue a regulation bill soon, after a year of legislation, while it took an EU suit to get the Scandinavian countries to begin to release their hold on the state monopolies that have governed gambling for years. In Germany where 20 sports licenses were promised back in 2012, the situation continues to remain murky.

Palpable Progress

While every country has its own regulation system, the 2015 year certainly saw the EU integration process get underway, and more progress next year is certainly realistic.


See also

EU Operators and Players Continue to Negotiate Murky Waters

Seize the Day for Online Gambling, EU Recommends

EU Casino's Fat Welcome Package

Safe Banking at EU Casino

The Manners of Welcoming EU Casino's Expertise

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