The gaming industry is one of the largest in the world

The gaming industry is one of the largest in the world, with more than 2.5 billion players estimated. In 2019, these players spent over $152 billion on games, with estimates that this figure will rise to nearly $200 billion by 2022.

In Europe, online gambling is a heavily regulated industry, and organizations must have several licenses, each of which has set of compliance criteria, in order to operate and supply their services.

Each European jurisdiction has its own national license regimes monitor and regulate internet gambling activities in its home country.

In most European countries, a decade ago there were no specific regulatory authorities monitoring online gambling and used to only exist state monopolies that offered online or other forms of gaming. The current online gambling is vastly different and most European nations have created state authorities that exist with the sole purposed of issuing online gaming licenses and monitor the online gaming activity within the country. Licenses now exist that offer to private companies the ability to provide authorizes, licensed and monitored gambling services within each nation. The move to multi-licensing regimes has been beneficial, since it has helped to build well-regulated and competitive online gambling markets that are appealing to players.

Similar to other online industries, online gambling is price-sensitive and driven by its consumers. This means that consumption is corelated to the quality and the price of a product. If an unregulated supplier provides higher quality goods at a more competitive price then the consumer will turn to that specific supplier irrespective if that supplier is not authorized to provide such services/goods by the local gaming authority. If a player can't find what they're looking for with legal operators, they'll frequently turn to overseas websites. This could lead the player to play on websites that are authorised in other European countries, a practice known as the "grey market," or, more concerning, websites that are not governed or taxed in Europe and therefore do not provide players with none of the consumer protections put in place by many European nations. Absence of price and quality innovation can result to an uncompetitive market, which is one of the reasons why monopolies, for example, collapse.


Multiple license regime

In certain European countries an operator just needs one license to offer online gambling services, while in others, companies must secure several licenses for distinct product groupings, such as card games, online casino or sportsbook services. To acquire one license is a hustle to acquire multiple is a very difficult task as bureaucracy is king for national authorities. Even more difficult is for companies that offer or wish to offer multiple gaming products as they are forced to acquire multiple licenses or cut out some of their services. The existence of a variety of licensing regimes is both administratively difficult and costly for both enterprises and regulators, and it has essentially created 28 small online gambling markets in Europe, each with its own set of laws. To provide services within EU an operator basically requires to have a license in each different nation (as most EU countries do prohibit access to betting websites unlicensed by their local authority).


Increase local players

Achieving the maximum feasible share of players in a particular nation gambling on online betting websites that are licensed, authorized, and monitored in that jurisdiction is needed for optimal regulation. This guarantees that all customers are protected by local consumer protection rules, that country authorities oversee gaming activity and collect gaming tax income, and that providers meet regulatory requirements and are legal operations inside markets. To help with this, national regulations should guarantee that consumers have a choice by allowing multi-licensing on the supply side of the market.

By Joseph Vrahimis / CEO BetConsultant.cy