Chaos And Turmoil For European Online Gaming Industry
Added: March 2, 2015
At least that is what it looks like at first glance. Yet, if you take just a moment to examine this situation a bit closer, you may well conclude this is actually exactly what the online gambling industry really needs after all.
First; what is going on here? In the off chance you missed the headline news that flashed across the bottom of your screen, this is all about new rules that are suddenly hitting online gambling operators in and around Europe. Although, truth be told, this should not really be such a surprise. After all, each and everyone of these new rules was announced well in advance.
The first sign of this supposed turmoil came about when the site 888.com publicly announced that the impending deal (a takeover by none other than the giant firm William Hill, PLC) was over and done with. Although the breakdown of this deal was blamed on price issues with a key shareholder, outsiders are pointing more towards the impending regulations.
For example, over in the U.K., the government is for the first time ever imposing mandatory licensing requirements on online gambling operators. In addition, there is a new British tax specifically targeted at online gambling operators. In this case, the British tax will be assessed against all revenues arising from the U.K. regardless of where the online gambling operator is headquartered.
But that is just the beginning of this situation. Effective January 1st of this year, there is a new European Union “digital tax” on online gambling revenues.
Yet all of the naysaying and hand wringing about the new rules, the onerous regulations and the new taxes being assessed really misses the point. If you look at this issue from a broader perspective, you may well decide that this is change to the online casino industry that is long overdue.
Consider that by setting up rules and regulations for online gambling operators that would apply equally across the board this can only help the industry grow. As you can plainly see, the existing state of affairs with a hodge podge mix of rules just does not work.
You could make a fairly strong case that is the lack of consistent rules (along with proper enforcement) that has led to the incredible rise of the unregistered and hence illegal offshore online casino operators.
Bottom line is this; although at first glance it may appear that new rules, new fees, taxes and the like could be harming the online gambling industry, the reality could turn out to be completely the opposite. Perhaps this is a sign of an industry that is finally growing up.