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Regulation

Europe’s Battle Against iGaming Black Market: Focus on Germany and France

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Confronting the iGaming Black Market in Europe: Germany and France’s Regulatory Challenge

As we journey towards ICE London 2024, a critical issue in the European iGaming industry comes to the forefront: the challenge of combating the black market, particularly in Germany and France. This new series will delve into the latest developments and regulatory efforts since 2023.

Germany’s Regulatory Struggle with iGaming

Germany’s iGaming sector has been under scrutiny, with a recent study revealing nearly half of all online gambling in the country occurring through unlicensed operators. This situation puts the German gambling regulator, GGL, under immense pressure to render regulated casinos more appealing in 2024.

The Pervasive Black Market in Germany

The licensed gambling operators in Germany face unprecedented competition from the black market. Post-conference studies indicate that the State Treaty on Gambling, effective since July 2021, fails to meet its primary goal of channeling online gambling to licensed sites. This misalignment has resulted in significant loss of potential tax revenue.

Urgent Call for Action by German Industry Associations

The German Online Casino Association (DOCV) and the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) urgently call for measures to combat this issue. They advocate for a GGL review of the current regulatory framework and increased collaboration across political and industry spheres, including revising taxation and regulations.

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Gambling Harm and Addiction Concerns in Germany

Since the launch of Germany’s legal online casino market in July 2021, concerns about gambling addiction have escalated. Studies show a high proportion of slot machine players in Germany are at risk of gambling harm, with online casino games posing the greatest risk.

France’s Ongoing Battle Against Illegal Gambling

In France, the absence of a regulated iGaming market has led to a surge in black market activities. Despite attempts to legalize online casinos in 2023, the market remains unregulated, prompting an increase in illegal gambling activities.

ANJ’s Estimation and Actions Against Illegal Gambling

The French gambling regulator, ANJ, estimates the illegal gambling market to be worth up to €1.5 billion annually. In response, the ANJ is intensifying efforts to block illegal websites, warn associated service providers, and raise public awareness about the dangers of illegal gambling.

Potential Legalization and Its Impact in France

As France contemplates legalizing its iGaming market, the industry closely watches how this move might affect the black market. The ANJ’s proactive stance and the potential legalization hold the key to reshaping France’s gambling landscape.

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Evaluating Europe’s Approach to iGaming Regulation

As ICE London 2024 approaches, the focus on Germany and France’s efforts to address the iGaming black market highlights significant regulatory challenges and opportunities in Europe’s gambling industry. The effectiveness of these measures and their impact on the broader market will be critical topics of discussion and analysis in the upcoming event.

Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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Legislation

Maryland Bill Seeks to Ban Online Gambling on College Campuses

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Maryland Bill Aims to Prohibit College Campus Gambling

As a seasoned gambling professional, staying abreast of legislative developments is paramount to understanding the evolving regulatory landscape. Maryland has recently garnered attention with the introduction of House Bill 1087, signalling a bold move to curtail online gambling activities on college campuses within the state. In this in-depth analysis, we delve into the intricacies of the proposed legislation, exploring its objectives, potential implications, and the broader implications for the gambling industry.

House Bill 1087, introduced in Maryland, seeks to prohibit online gambling on college campuses, underscoring concerns about the proliferation of gambling activities among students. The bill mandates the establishment of virtual perimeters, known as “geofences,” around college campuses to block access to online sportsbooks via cell phones. This proactive measure aims to mitigate the negative impact of gambling on campus communities and safeguard student welfare.

Under HB 1087, four-year public institutions, Baltimore City Community College, and local community colleges in Maryland are tasked with contracting geolocation service companies partnered with licensed sports betting operators. These institutions must implement the virtual perimeters by August 1, 2024, ensuring strict enforcement of the proposed ban on campus gambling. While the bill anticipates increased expenses for colleges, it asserts no revenue impact, emphasizing its primary objective of promoting a safe and responsible campus environment.

Despite the bill’s noble intentions, concerns have emerged regarding the practicality of enforcing geofences on college campuses. Towson University, a prominent public university in Maryland, has voiced apprehensions about the feasibility of implementing geolocation restrictions effectively. Challenges such as geolocation accuracy, mobile device settings, ethical considerations, and private network usage pose significant obstacles to enforcement, raising questions about the efficacy of the proposed legislation.

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Maryland’s foray into sports betting in November 2022 marked a significant milestone in the state’s gambling landscape, with ten operators, including industry giants like FanDuel and ESPN Bet, entering the market. However, the introduction of HB 1087 underscores a shift in regulatory focus towards addressing emerging concerns surrounding gambling accessibility and its potential impact on vulnerable populations, particularly college students.

As the debate surrounding House Bill 1087 unfolds, it prompts crucial discussions about the intersection of gambling, education, and regulatory oversight. While advocates argue for stringent measures to combat problem gambling and protect student well-being, critics raise valid concerns about the practicality and effectiveness of geofencing solutions. Ultimately, Maryland’s legislative initiative serves as a microcosm of broader efforts to strike a balance between consumer protection and industry growth in the ever-evolving landscape of online gambling regulation.

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