Online Gambling Industry in Europe

23 August 2011 – By Huseyin Yilmaz

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The European online gambling market is truly the most developed and diverse market in the world. Since the US still hasn’t legalized online casinos on its territory, all eyes are on Europe. The last few days have been extremely busy for many European countries. Those that already have legalized online gambling are trying to find better ways to receive bigger taxes from the industry, while those that still forbid these activities try to find ways to regulate online gambling.

Germany is such a case, where different provinces have chosen different ways in this matter. The Schleswig-Holstein German province seems to have gone with the right manner of dealing with online gambling. There were a total of fifteen provinces in Germany that still hadn’t done anything to regulate the business. Schleswig-Holstein chose to come up with a different approach and came up with a liberalized proposal that was supported both by the European Commission, as well as by the casino operators.

The remaining states came up with a different proposal that was not revceived as good, since it has been rejected by the Commission. The Schelswig-Holstein proposition specified that unlimited number of licenses will be given to operators and they will be taxed at 20% on gross profits. The rejected proposition only considered a limited number of licences and 16,66% tax on turnover. The current German gambling law wil expire at the begining of the next year.

Spain is another country that is considering committing to online gambling legalization. A new study conducted in the country shows that there are many benefits to this move and most of them will help the economy of the country. The taxes that could be gathered from this activity could reach over 137 million Euros in the next year. More than that, over 120.000 jobs could be created in the near future, after the full regulation of the industry. Last year, there were 33% more online casino players than in 2009 and this shows the interest of the Spanish people for online gambling activities.

Another news comes from the United Kingdom and is more general. The UK Gambling Act specifies that the Gambling Commission can only share important information about gambling activities with a few sports authorities. A new amendment is trying to change this and allow sharing information with the Olympic Committee and other sports authorities that might be interested in these matters. This amendment is necessary due to certain rumors regarding some major sports events.

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