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Improved Regulatory Outlook

may drive the gambling sector forwards


Although we do not expect a rapid and uniform online casino gambling and poker regulation in key European markets over the coming years, we do envisage a gradual opening up of new and significant markets (such as France and Spain), driving higher levels of customer acquisition

via improved marketing opportunities and a reduction in the stigma or mistrust amongst consumers utilising non regulated websites for financial transaction. So, just because an online casino gambling or online poker site operates in a geographic market in which it is not regulated this will, over time, not be a barrier to players depositing money with that particular site. It will become, in essence, trusted over time.

Whilst continental regulation may take some time we believe that the current economic situation means that many Givernments will take a closer look at this potential revenue stream in terms of online gambling taxation revenues.

Conversely, in countries with protected domestic monopolies and a possible disregard for European Commission leanings on the subject of open-market policies, the desire to continue to protect monopolistic gaming income may become even greater.

However, with continued support from the European Commission, we expect most territories to eventually regulate and tax online gambling, albeit with varied detail as yet on levels of tax or likelihood of continued quasi-State support for local operators or even State owned operators.

Even in the absence of cohesive and committed regulation from European nations, the potential for online internet casinos gambling and online poker romms in Europe remains buoyant, with limited progress made on operators expanding meaningfully beyond the major markets (UK, Scandinavia, Spain).

Furthermore, we would expect online gambling operators; when higher risk investments and / or improved clarity on regulation allow; to target new territories further afield such as Eastern Europe, Russia and Asia.

Although impossible to quantify in terms of market size and timing of regulation, the potential exists and online casino gambling operators have highly scalable platforms, ensuring market penetration is largely limited to security of legislation and marketing budgets.

With regards to overall movements and changes in online gambling regulation very little has changed recently on the European front but moves are certainly afoot in the US which may provide a blueprint for the rest of the world.

The US Situation: Click for our detailed guide to US gambling

Italy: now allows online poker tournaments (cash games) although these are still ring fenced at a national level.

Spain: continues to 'consider' local and national online licences. Several more autonomous communities are reported to be 'considering' offline licences (Madrid and Basque have licensing in place). In short, there is much 'consideration' going on in Spain over the online internet gambling and poker issue.

France: has made progressive movements towards online gambling regulation.

Sweden: much derided (by operators) consultaion piece from Government looking to open up very limited areas of the online casino gambling and poker market. For example looking to allow sports betting but not horse race betting, while retaining State control of most key areas.

Germany: retains anti-internet gambling legislation, against ECJ wishes.

Turkey: retains anti-online gambling legislation.

 

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The online gambling sector may benefit from an improving regulatory outlook An improved regulatory outlook for online casino gambling will certainly benefit the stocks and shares in the online gambling sector
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