A study of European parliament held sometimes back in last year revealed that 7 of 27 members of the union actually outlawed online gambling in Europe. Among the rest 20, just 13 of them have liberalized online gambling markets in their jurisdictions. The others have limited online gambling activities to others have limited online gambling activities to only the monopolies licensed or owned by the state. Netherlands is perhaps the European country that has launched the severest crackdown operation on gambling entities. Here, residents can only engage in placing their online bets through De Lotto, the state run gambling monopoly.
At the beginning of the year authorities ratcheted the pressure they were facing from other foreign betting companies. The tactic they used was largely copied from US where the federal government warned of an attack on gambling firms by imposing threats to the financial intermediaries they used to transact their dealings. Earlier in the year, the Ministry of Justice in Dutch also warned the various banks in the nation that they also risked prosecution for facilitating money transfer among dealers of online gambling in Europe especially for firms abroad.
There have been other countries that have equally progressed on their efforts of prohibit such sorts in the nation. Last year, Germany introduced a ban regarding online gambling. North Rhine-Westphalia state ordered a British firm Betfair to bar its residents from accessing their gambling services. However, a court in Dusseldorf is yet to give a ruling on whether the order is legal or not. A court in Greece also ordered another British firm, Stanleybet to end all its operations in the country. Other countries such as Germany, Sweden, Hungary and Estonia have equally passed laws or are contemplating to pass regulations for providers of online gambling in Europe to block their residents from accessing their gambling sites.
Essentially, most of these countries in Europe that have been restricting online gambling have said that they do so as a way of protecting the consumers from the same companies. However, this argument does not have much weight in other countries including Netherlands or Sweden where gambling is allowed but strictly through the national monopolies. It has also been revealed that problem gambling has been equally at a higher rate just like in Britain although online gambling has been liberalized here.
The main issue has been that online gambling in Europe can threaten the amount of revenue earned by the governments from the local monopolies. In a country like Netherlands, all the winnings made from the gambling activity, like slot games, carry a taxation rate of 29%. This is a direct opposite to a country like Gibraltar where taxation is merely a 1% and this is the only payments that British online gambling companies have to pay. It is also noted that online gambling in Europe has billions of money that is at a stake and it has been noted that the money is not less than $5 billion each year.