Although online casinos and betting is hitting a level of market maturity after the heady days which began around 15 years ago, there’s still a lot of changes anticipated in 2018.
Each country in Europe approaches online casinos and betting differently, largely dictated by the government at the time and the regulators, if applicable.
Gambling Compliance, a leading source of independent insight into regulatory matters has identified its expectations, country by country, of what 2018 will hold.
At Casinopedia, we are more concerned with how any changes might affect players, so we will also interpret those predictions in terms of how it might impact the slot spinners and the sports bettors directly.
It is probably only right to start with the UK, which is often held up as an example of a well regulated and safe place to play. However saw the weight of the regulator the UK Gambling Commission brought to bear on a number of established casino names, as it began to seriously sharpen its claws against any practice it deemed to run counter to the conditions set out in its coveted gambling license.
Gambling Compliance expects more of the same this year.
On the face of it the expected changes are good for players.
It’s all about better transparency for players.
Players are also expected to get hold of more information about their gambling from any operator sites. Again, this is in the interests of openness, allowing players to see exactly how much they have lost in a given time period.
Online casinos are not currently permitted in Germany, but sports betting is and the whole situation in recent years has been something of a saga.
The matter is complicated further by the fact that the Schleswig-Holstein state announced it would adopt its own Gambling Act, rather than a proposed 2017 interstate treaty, and that this act would legalize online casinos.
Don’t expect much progress in 2018, and expect the status quo to remain largely in tact.
In 2017 it was announced that Ireland was looking into adopting a regulated model for its online gambling.
This is aimed at giving players more clarity and a safer environment in which to play. The regulatory would have control over all aspects of gambling, much like the UK model.
The expectation is that this could be in place by the end of 2018. That could be optimistic.
The Italian authorities have announced this year it is offering licences to a select band of operators which can demonstrate a track record in gambling.
One good piece of news was the shared liquidity agreement between Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, which would allow online poker players to play against each other online.
But the bad news is that this is not expected to finally come in to force this year, as the Italian the authorities don’t consider it a priority. That’s that then.
Talking of dragging feet – The Netherlands has, since 2014, floated the idea of an online gambling bill allowing unlimited licenses, but nothing has happened yet.
So the industry remains unregulated, which is not great for players.
So players look like they will have to wait a while longer for some action, while the glacial gears of government attempt to deliver something concrete.
Sweden looked to open up its gambling market in 2017, after it became clear that the unregulated market away from the state monopoly was becoming impossible to control.
That should mean more choice and better online casino options for players there, and some high quality operators will look to get in on the market.
A previous survery in 2017 had shown that gambling was on the decline in the nation.
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