European Online Gambling Regulatory Update
As the world gets ready for 2011, Europe is poised to take center stage in the online gambling world, with its must-attend online gaming conferences like the London Affiliate Conference, iGaming France, and the iGaming SuperShow all lined up for the year’s early months.
So, let’s take a look at what’s been happening on the continent regarding regulatory issues, to see what sorts of topics all those conference attendees will be discussing:
In the UK, the financial world is abuzz with news of various online gambling mergers. The bwin and PartyGaming merger is, of course, the biggest of these, but there’s also the potential partnership between Ladbrokes and 888. Plus, many more merger rumors abound. As the UK is one of the biggest hubs of online gambling business, London (and Gibraltar, also technically British) is much more plugged into the online gambling financial world than the U.S. (though that’s slowly changing, as we’ve recently discussed here at CAP News).
France continues to be a source of controversy due to its new online gaming regulations, which have been harshly criticized in some quarters, but which seem to be bringing in revenue for the country — so the regulators are probably still happy.
In Denmark, online gambling regulations have been delayed, but the country’s land casino monopoly has announced its plans for how the new Internet gambling business structure would work, anyway. These plans would split the monopoly into three separate divisions, with which private operators could compete. The three categories would be sports betting, poker and casino, according to CasinoAdvisor.com.
In Greece, reports predict that online gambling will be regulated in 2011. That’s a big deal, considering the country’s well-known economic collapse, combined with the belief that “the illegal online gaming market [is[ worth around €4 billion a year,” per OnlinePoker.net.
Cyprus’ ongoing efforts to ban online gambling — for which it needs EU approval — are reported to have been derailed by the Malta and the UK (at least, according to the Malta Business Weekly).
And Finland has finally launched its new Internet poker network, powered by online gaming software company Playtech, reports OnlineCasinoReports.com.