What We Can Learn From How Europe Handles Its Online Gambling Regulations

Updated on December 4, 2015

eu-gambling-regulationWe live in a time full of change. As more states begin to pass laws allowing online gambling many wonder how to go about regulating these new sites. One example for us that stands out is Europe. European countries have been working together to come to a consensus on various online gaming regulations. Here in America, though various states may follow different state laws, at least we all still speak the same language. With all the countries in Europe, this is not the case, and yet they still can work together to form new regulations as needed. Perhaps now is a good time to look to Europe as an example of how to form regulations as needed to protect citizens.

Over the past few years, the European Union has formed a united European Economic Zone, which consists of 28 countries. Twenty of these 28 member countries have united to sign an agreement that was put forth by the European Commission towards the end goal of regulating online gambling and combating unlicensed activity. This article was said to have been signed by many of the largest member states in the European Economic Zone including Great Britain, Italy, Spain, and France.

According to the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), this is an important part of uniting in a common goal. EGBA secretary general Maarten Haijer believes that “the signing of the cooperation agreements between the EU’s gambling authorities is a crucial step in building trust and confidence in this inherently cross-border sector.”

This agreement will help develop a centralized organization for online gambling across the continent of Europe that will add stronger consumer protection procedures for the millions of citizens within the European Union. Ultimately it will be responsible for supervising compliance of nations to gaming laws, preventing money laundering and fraud, cross-country competition assistance, assistance for the various online gambling site operators, and all other general knowledge sharing of online gambling related ideas.

After these laws are passed, many gaming operators across Europe will benefit through reduced costs in cross-border legislation.

According to Haijer, this cooperation agreement will “encourage the authorities to address with priority unnecessary administrative costs that make the regulated offer less competent than the unregulated offer.”

Executive Chairman of MGA [an online authority site] Joseph Cuschieri went on to say that “this agreement is a result of various discussions and debates between the various national gaming authorities and credit goes to the officials working in DG-GROW as well as to the representative officials of the various regulatory bodies who collectively work towards this significant multilateral achievement.”

How Europe has handled the new threat of unregulated online gambling is a good example that legislators across America would do well to remember.

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