Interesting to read that the latest statistics from French betting regulator ARJEL show that 36 operators have entered the French online market, but that 285 websites of 410 that were sent cease-and-desist letters (itself a low number, given their own government’s estimation that there are thousands of illegal sites) continue to operate illegally. Also interesting that Unibet has again delayed re-entering the French market despite the fact that it has a licence, because of the onerous tax rates.
Those two bits of news come hot on the heels that the Dutch Council of State ruled that the process of granting exclusive sports betting and Tote licences in the Netherlands was flawed and illegal, bringing an end to a case initiated more than seven years ago; and less than a week after the Greeks voted to introduce a Gross Profits Tax rather than a turnover tax. Not to mention Germany’s changing attitude to its State Treaty, or, further afield, news that Hawaii is the latest US state to propose the regulation of online poker.
It seems to me that the longer the battles play out in Europe (and elsewhere) over regulation, the more it becomes likely that pragmatism will win out. And yet apparently, the thing that weighs on some gambling companies’ share prices is the fact that the regulatory position is so negative.
There’s a disconnect there somewhere.