The size of the European Gambling industry grows each year and does not look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. The sector worldwide is worth a huge €40 billion and Europe accounts for over half the revenue generated. All areas of gambling are growing including betting, gaming and the competition for players has never been so fierce. The European online casino list is packed with some of the largest companies in the world and the latest trends show that thanks to technological advance more new companies than ever before are entering the space.
One of the major problems with the online gambling world is the level of black market betting that takes place each year. The size of the market on paper maybe worth €40 billion but the true size is unknown due to the vast size of the underground betting market. This has been created by policies that have banned gambling in certain jurisdiction which has forced gamblers to take risks if they wish to place a bet.
The trends show that there has been a switch in mindset from an outright ban to a move towards regulation instead. It is still going to be an uphill battle for gambling companies but Governments are starting to realize that banning gambling activities is not working and is, in fact, having a more damaging effect than what would happen if fully regulated. In 2019 expect to see many countries change their models so that many gambling activities can finally take place legally.
Currently, the UK is cracking down on land-based establishments with high street bookmakers the main focus. To be able to cope with the loss of tax revenue, they plan to increase taxes on online gambling in order to cover the losses from the crackdown.
Norway is one of the countries that use a monopoly style system to help regulate their market. They are planning on keeping this model but also rolling out clarification on the illegality of international operators. Sweden meanwhile is taking a different approach by completely legalizing gambling activities online. In 2019 new laws will be in place to completely liberalize the marketplace.
One of the largest gambling marketplaces in Europe is Italy which is due to the gambling-friendly nature of the laws along with regulations here. That is about to change though as they announced recently that they are going to clamp down on a number of items with advertising one of the key areas they are looking to place restriction. It is a surprise move considering it has been one of the fastest growing in the world but the new Government wants to address social responsibility to attempt to protect its citizens from becoming gambling addicts.
One of the major problems faced by European gambling authorities is the rise of new technology such as the Blockchain that enables punters to get around restrictions. There will be a need to create brand new laws if they wish to stop this but does to the speed of innovation along with the time it takes to place new laws in place, this is a minefield that is almost impossible to solve.