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Online Gambling

Status: February 2016

Online gambling is becoming an increasingly important channel for the distribution of games. Indeed, many European Casino Association (ECA) members take advantage of this highly dynamic technology for providing their services. Herein, the ECA would like to present a concise list of position statements and explanations in light of the current ongoing discussions relevant to debates on the future of online gambling at national, EU and global level.

What is the regulatory status quo?

With respect to the principle of subsidiarity and under the country-of-destination principle, and as confirmed by the CJEU as well as the EFTA Court, Members States have the right to determine what gambling services can be provided in their jurisdiction as long as the measures are compatible with the EU Treaties and the interpretation given thereof by the CJEU. This approach is based on the premise that Member States are best placed to understand national needs and cultural preferences in light of the challenges intrinsic to any form of gambling.

What changes with online gambling?

Online gambling is in itself only another channel for the distribution of games. Equally to terrestrial gambling, if not properly regulated, online gambling can lead to negative social and economic consequences, which vary from youth and problem gambling to illegal, criminal and fraudulent activities. Herein, the cross-border nature of online gambling has brought with it an increasing need for cooperation between countries.