European Commission and monopoly in online gambling


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Jan 28, 2011
The way I see it they fully support closed market practices and high taxation in online gambling.
You know my position, closed market + high taxation = bad services + low RTP + uncontrolled money loss + gambling addiction. Exactly the opposite of protecting public interest. :mad:

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European Commission - Press release
Commission closes infringement procedures and complaints in the gambling sector

Brussels, 7 December 2017

In line with its political commitment to be more strategic in enforcing EU law, the European Commission has today decided to close its infringement procedures and the treatment of complaints in the area of gambling.

From the start, the Juncker Commission has been focusing on its
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and pursuing them vigorously. This political approach is also reflected in the Commission's handling of infringement cases. The
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” sets out the Commission's approach to prioritising cases in a strategic manner, carefully weighing the various public and private interests involved.

In this vein, the Commission has today decided to close its infringement procedures in the area of online gambling and the treatment of relevant complaints against a number of Member States.

The Court of Justice of the European Union has repeatedly recognised Member States' rights to restrict gambling services where necessary to protect public interest objectives such as the protection of minors, the fight against gambling addiction and the combat of irregularities and fraud. The Commission acknowledges the broader political legitimacy of the public interest objectives that Member States are pursuing when regulating gambling services. The Commission also notes Member States' efforts to modernise their online gambling legal frameworks, channel citizens' demand for gambling from unregulated offer to authorised and supervised websites, and ensure that operators pay taxes. With that in mind, it is not a priority for the Commission to use its infringement powers to promote an EU Single Market in the area of online gambling services.

The Commission will continue to support Member States in their efforts to modernise their national online gambling legal frameworks and to facilitate cooperation between national gambling regulators.


The Commission considers that complaints in the gambling sector can be handled more efficiently by national courts also in the light of the numerous judgements of the Court of Justice of the EU on national gambling legislation. Complainants are therefore encouraged to make use of national remedies when facing problems with EU law in the gambling sector.

Member States are autonomous in the way they organise their gambling services, including the level of taxation, provided the fundamental freedoms of the Treaty are respected. The Court of Justice of the European Union has helped to clarify which restrictions on Single Market principles can be justified in the light of public policy objectives such as the protection of consumers and minors in the area of gambling.

The Commission is assisting Member States in their efforts to combat unauthorised gambling, protect vulnerable citizens and prevent other related illegal activities. Following the
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, the Commission has launched a series of initiatives, including, for example,
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, has encouraged enhanced administrative cooperation and has started an Expert Group on Gambling Services for EEA gambling regulators to exchange good practice, facilitate administrative cooperation and improve trust. Moreover, EU rules in areas such as anti-money laundering apply to the gambling sector.

For More Information

- On the key decisions in the December 2017 infringements package, see full
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- On the general infringements procedure, see
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- On the
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Not sure about this.

Do we need yet more Government interference? We all know where that can lead to.
Finland is one of the EU member states where national monopoly on gaming exists. Veikkaus (company 100% owned by Finnish State) operates all gambling games offered in Finland. Although they distribute their profits for the common good, having a monopoly in any business is in my opinion a negative thing.

On the practical side of things, it's not illegal to play online and foreign companies can offer their services to finnish residents. They just can't market their companies here. But in an online world that really makes no difference these days.

Thanks to EU regulations, Finland is not able to discriminate foreign companies and as long as the foreign gaming company operates within the EEA, all income from gaming is tax free.

But I'd much more like to see a broader regulated market. One license (for example all of EEA) and uniform set of rules would be beneficial for the whole industry. That's likely a gambling utopia which will never be achieved.
I'm a big fan of local governance. Eff the EU!

I'm sure that a national government knows best how to regulate it's home market. Having said that, I find Spain's stance a tad extreme, and it must be costing them revenue.
Its a bigger problem in other EU member states. They have sold the previously state owned monopoly, but not before extending the monopoly rights to more years and more products. They are advertized 24/7 on all media and you can find them in every corner. They have 60% RTP. Not exactly strict anti-gambling policy or protection of public interest. :rolleyes:

Up to now EC was ontop of this, requesting regulated but open online market. The country pretended compliance (with 35% GGR tax going back to 2010). If this was before, imagine what will happen now that EC decided to let them do whatever they want.

But its not just about some member states. Clearly the priority is tax collection, but you can't put VAT on every bet! It is not potatoes! That is what tax on GGR is, it is like VAT on every bet.
Maybe small and unnoticeable if it is 5% on a game with 97% RTP, but here we have cases of 35% over 60% RTP! :eek:

Ask any online casino if they can live with 35% tax on GGR. Most likely their net profit is under 30%. And it is not like they can change the RTP on most games, imagine Bonanza with 90% RTP! :p

The others, with the monopoly, they don't care. Their customers don't know what RTP is, most politicians don't know either.
But then hard nosed gamblers will vote with their wallets, and their vpns and their bitcoins, surely.

I must admit, I am spoiled by living in the UK, qua gambling regulation. I would love to emigrate to sunnier climes, but I don't think I could handle the aggravation that that would entail with regards my indulging in online gaming.

I'm sure the situation will improve and evolve for the rest of Europe, it must do, it's the Agenda, but I can also understand that local governments will want to take it slow and see what the repercussions are, before they throw it wide open.
Basics of EU is free movement of people & services. There should be an online court especially for online gambling under contract law since this business is so big and parties are from different countries, one court, one regulator, more secure for consumers and casino’s. If you leave it to the countries, some still don’t regulate and that gives uncertainty when you have a dispute. Where to go? You can go to Malta court, but you dont speak Maltese. You can go to your own countries court based on the treaty of Rome, but costs will be stakehigh since the other party is abroad....pfffff I feel if you supply a license to a business you also have to protect a consumer not only by the regulation rules but as well on contract law.

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