ECA Vice Chair Wants EU To Crackdown On Illegal iGaming Providers
The global online gambling industry has grown at a rapid pace during the last decade but Europe has been lagging behind. There are some gaming analysts who cite stringent regulations, high taxes and small player pools for poor market growth.
However, one key underlying reason for the sluggish growth in Europe’s iGaming industry has been due to the flourishing of illegal online gambling operators.
This problem was directly addressed by Prof. Dietmar Hoscher who serves as the vice-chairman for the European Casino Association (ECA). Prof. Hoscher shared his views during a keynote presentation at the twelfth Conference of the European Association of the Study of Gambling (EASG) on Malta.
He acknowledged the fact that in recent times a number of EU nations have taken stringent steps to address illegal gambling concerns and those steps have worked out well for certain countries. However, unlicensed online gambling operators continue to target EU nations and are flourishing because gaming regulators have not been able to fully wipe them out.
This is a serious cause for concern as illegal iGaming operators put European players at riskas they have no recourse if they are taken advantage off. The other concerns stemming from unlicensed operators include money laundering, criminal activities and identity theft.
Unlicensed Operators Eating into Profits
These unlicensed operators control a significant portion of the iGaming market in Europe and as a result eat into the profits of licensed operators. This in turn impacts the percentage of gaming taxes collected by EU countries and poses a major problem for gaming regulators.
Prof. Hoscher believes that it is possible to significantly reduce the impact of unlicensed iGaming operators but that would require a collective effort from all parties involved. He stated during his presentation that if EU countries seriously wanted to rid themselves of unlicensed operators, they would have to collaborate and share best practices that would help them get rid of illegal gambling.
In a statement, Prof. Hoscher said
Policy-makers, regulators and all stakeholders involved need to join forces and stop the provision of illegal online gambling. This requires strengthened enforcement of national gambling legislation through blacklists, IP blocking and payment blocking, as well as cooperation with online platforms and intermediaries
The ECA has also released two reports recently that address these concerns. The first paper deals with unlicensed gambling in Europe and the second talks about the measures that need to be put in place to stamp out unlicensed gambling.
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