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The growing black market

I’ve just seen a report of the presentation in late April by the EU Commissioner Michel Barnier on his work programme for the immediate future of the European Parliament’s Internal Markets Committee.

Aside from the fact that he praised the Schadelmose report, my response to which was pre-blog and was therefore published in Parliament Magazine and can be seen here, it is notable to me that the new Commissioner warned against the existence of 15,000 illegal gambling sites.

When the French did their lengthy report into online gambling, the Durieux report, they talked about there being 5,000 illegal sites.

Many times since, I have commented, on this blog and publicly, that 5,000 is an awfully large number of operators, when you consider that after 10 years in the industry, I could probably name you 30 at a push. Now, it seems we have 15,000 operators – three times as many!

To me, it suggests one of two things: either politicians are pulling numbers out of the air for effect; or the failure of politicians to regulate in a way which allows competitive product to be offered to people has resulted (and will continue to result) in the massive growth of the black market.

Which is it?

Posted in Betting industry, Europe, Regulation.

Tagged with , , .

2 Responses

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  1. Anonymous says

    More likely he's commenting from a postion of not knowing any facts – would be interested to see if he could name 50.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Are you watching in Greece? | Mark Davies linked to this post on February 2, 2011

    […] European governments, aware that they can’t (under European law) prohibit sites licensed in other European jurisdictions from operating, have instead sought to protect their national players by putting in place laws which make access to their markets commercially unviable for operators which play by the rules. They have done so thinking that the said operators will just withdraw from their markets, and leave the pitch free for the incumbent former monopolies. Commentators with a third braincell have observed that the more likely alternative outcome would be that the operators who frankly can’t be bothered to play by the rules would come in and fill the void. European governments denied it, and the last few years have been a pantomine of ‘oh yes they will… oh no they won’t‘. […]

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