The European Union has done its best in recent years to make sure that online gambling companies have a fair market share across the board. Several countries that have previously allowed monopolies on the gaming industry, have since opened their doors to regulated online casinos from other countries.
All the while, the EU has maintained that their goal is fair business for all their member countries. On Tuesday, the EU will unveil their latest plan to ensure that more monopolies are broken, while at the same time strengthening regulations for existing online casinos.
The first part of the plan would seek to clarify if Internet gambling prohibition, such as the one in the US, are legal under trading laws. The EU has cracked down over the past decade on countries who have kept out regulated gaming companies. The betting companies themselves, including Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, Betfair, and Ladbrokes, have launched lawsuits claiming they were illegally being discriminated against in certain companies.
The companies claim countries have illegally targeted online gambling in their effort to keep prohibition in place. The countries have responded by claiming their Internet gaming laws are in place to deal with a growing gambling addiction problem.
Although the EU would like to end these monopolies, they still must only craft a solution that fits the framework of the laws in each country. That could be a difficult task, according to several legal experts.
The second part of the new plan will strengthen regulatory framework for existing gaming companies. The companies would be required to do identity checks on their customers. Any suspicious betting patterns would also be required to be reported to local authorities. The aim of this portion of the plan is to eliminate money laundering within the Internet gambling industry.
The US is the largest online gaming market in the world, and only recently have individual states started to pass legislation that would regulate the industry within their borders. Federal legislation has stalled several times in Congress, and the issue is likely to not see the light of day again until after the new year.
Other countries such as Germany, France, Spain, and Italy have all changed laws in the past few years to comply with EU trading agreements.
In all, the European Commission has received complaints from gaming companies involving 20 of the 27 EU member nations.