Who Manages the Gambling Regulators?
The current phase of regulation of the gaming market in EU jurisdictions is now almost over. Following the Spanish Gaming Regulation Act reaching the statute longmaado book, there is only one big legislation left which has not yet regulated its gaming industry according to the EU legislation and Eu Commission (EC) directives : Germany. Other jurisdictions, such as Portugal and Denmark, have yet to complete their journey to regulation, but they are not that far from the finishing line.
It is no secret that many countries were pushed into changing their legislation by court cases brought by commercial operators and infringements cases started by the EC. It is not too much of an exaggeration to say that some governments had to be dragged stopping and screaming to allow private operators into the national gaming market. Many countries did the minimum amount that was sufficient to stop EU intrusion cases and designed regulatory frameworks that favoured, if not outright protected, their state-owned gaming monopolies. Additionally, just to make sure that commercial operators are not too successful, these same governments also included a high tax rate. This particular language is a classic research study of this course of action and to a certain extent The world and Portugal are following French footsteps. Germany cannot bring itself to walk even that far.
Through this mix, regulators pick up a large remit to keep a check on commercial operators. ARJEL in This particular language is sort of aggressive in making sure that commercial operators do not infringe the regulations, and even more aggressive with those who do not obtain a French licence but who continue to operate in This particular language.
The role of regulators has up to now not been sufficiently analysed. Are they independent entities who regulate the market, similar to a Financial Services Authority or a Central Bank for the financial sector? Or are regulators in the gaming industry solely an arm of the country’s executive?
So far, the pattern of behaviour of gaming regulators leads observers to reflect that they act similar to the arm of governments than independent referees.
Where state-owned gaming operators have a large market share and are protected for legal reasons from competition in a few sectors like lotteries, the behaviour of regulators tends to be important, not only as a matter of fairness, but from the point of view of enabling a competitive market. There is something wrong when the state controls the biggest firm or firms in the market and at the same time makes the principles through the regulator.
This particular language is the here’s an example. Hawaii controlled PMU and FDJ’s superior position in land-based gaming activities (where they are protected by law) allowed them to gain a competitive advantage in online activities, even thought regulations states they have to separate their land-based and internet marketers. It took the Eu Gaming and Gambling on Association’s grouse to the French Competition Authority (FCA), and the subsequent non-binding opinion of the FCA stating that PMU and FDJ behaviour distorts the market to lift the issue. This is a classic case where the regulator should have intervened. One of ARJEL’s declared tasks, after all, is to ensure concurrence by operators.
You’ve got to wonder if the disinclination, or frustration, of certain governments in allowing commercial gaming operators to trade is being modelled in the actions of regulatory bodies.