What’s new in the EU: European igaming update
With all the commotion in the United States over the seizure of the world’s biggest online poker sites, less attention has been paid to regulatory developments in Europe.
But those haven’t slowed down, especially given the recent movement to tie all EU nations together in one big iGaming regulatory network. Here’s the latest:
In a hopeful development for those looking for an EU-wide licensing network, two of the more progressive Western European countries are collaborating on online gambling regulations.
As 888′s Dragonfish announces its first Italian igaming license, regulators in that nation and in France “are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)” that will “outline the process for sharing information and open the doors for cooperation between the two gambling regulators in support of both Italian and French gambling laws,” reports Gaming Zion.
According to the source, the two nations have already been working together on this idea for almost a year. The benefits would be, ideally, less regulatory hurdles for companies operating in both countries. Is it wishful thinking that someday one license could work for all EU nations?
If the answer is yes, look to Germany to be the last one to consent. The populous, economically gigantic nation has one of the more prohibitive attitudes towards online gambling. With a population second only to Russia in Europe, Germany could potentially be a huge market, but regulations forbid online gaming.
Bwin.party is one of the companies hoping to change that. The company is planning a “constitutional complaint” against German laws that largely forbid online gambling regulations. “The proposed revision of the Germany State Gambling Treaty is in our view not compliant with EU law,” a rep for the bwin.party told EGR.
Just as this week’s GamingInSpain conference gets underway in Madrid, iGaming Business has also announced a return to Barcelona for their September 2011 gaming affiliate event. That decision was made by polling expected attendees.
There’s every reason why the industry should be focusing on Spain at the moment. The country is in the middle of a new licensing process for online gambling, which means big opportunities for operators (and Spanish-speaking affiliates).
But that licensing process is a bit unique. In late May, it was announced that Casino Gran Madrid (powered by Playtech) had received Spain’s first online gaming license, separate from the brand-new online gaming regulations the country just announced. Casino Advisor reports that the site could go live within a month.
Russia is a relatively tiny market with very restrictive laws, but there is still apparently hope. Today, “Russian Gaming Week” hits Moscow.
“Russians love to gamble but are restricted to certain zones in Russia,” notes Online-Casinos.com. “The four designated gambling zones, Azov City, Primorie, Yantarnaya, and Siberian Coin, will represent the majority of discussions at the three day parley.” The conference will explore online casino opportunities in those jurisdictions, among other land-based concerns.