Online gambling regulation in the European Union is in a state of flux. There are an estimated 7 million Europeans who bet online, making up almost 15% of the global market, and the Commission is hoping that proper regulations will encourage them to use authorized sites and keep away from the unregulated ones. The industry was, at one time, largely open and unregulated. As such, each country regulated their own internal online gambling industries. But that is changing and the EU is exerting more and more control in gambling jurisdictions with the intention to curb illegal operating and protect customers.
In 2011, the Commission outlined an agreement on ”Responsible Remote Gambling Measures.” This was the first agreement to cover the whole of the EU, and covered procedures about protection for users and what advertising is acceptable. These suggestions have now changed into goals which the EU hopes to achieve in order to better regulate the European online gambling industry.
The Commission is considering a number of different aspects that will work to prevent problem gambling, protect minors, and prompt advertisers to act responsibly. Gambling operators who currently work in the EU will assist with drawing up the systems that will be implemented to protect minors and prevent gamblers from accessing unlicensed sites. Proposed measures include on-site warnings against underage gambling and electronic verification systems. Self-exclusion methods will also be available for problem players who wish to limit their play. It has also been proposed that any new regulatory body should be given powers to track banned players.
More recommendations are likely to be formulated. Once they are published and codified, online gambling operators will be obliged to follow them if they want to conduct business in the EU.