European Casino Association vice-chair Dietmar Hoscher highlighted the ongoing challenges posed by illegal online gambling and the need for strong national enforcement actions during his keynote address at the 12th conference of the European Association of the Study of Gambling in Malta.
“Policy-makers, regulators and all stakeholders involved need to join forces and stop the provision of illegal online gambling,” he stated. “This requires strengthened enforcement of national gambling legislation through blacklists, IP blocking and payment blocking, as well as cooperation with online platforms and intermediaries.”
Hoscher explained that the relevant case law and secondary legislation at EU level clearly underline the principle of subsidiarity – i.e. that government power ought to reside at the lowest feasible level – putting the onus for licencing online gambling on national governments.
Despite the successes of some countries in stopping illegal gambling, the available data shows that illegal online gambling is on the rise in many EU countries.
The increase in unlicensed online operators undermines consumer protection measures, regulatory efforts at national level, and puts tax contributions and funding for good causes at risk, Hoscher contended. He also noted that illegal online gambling has been connected to organised crime and money laundering.
“There is clearly a need and willingness to cooperate between regulators, the licensed gambling industry and other stakeholders to effectively tackle the issue,” Hoscher concluded.