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Who Adjusts the Gambling Regulators?

The current phase of regulation of the playing market in EUROPEAN jurisdictions is now almost over. Following the Spanish Playing Regulation Act reaching the statute book, there is only one big legal system left which has not yet regulated its playing industry according to the EUROPEAN legislation and Western european ciputrabet Commission (EC) directives — Germany. Other jurisdictions, such as A holiday in greece 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 process started by the EC. It is not too much of an exaggeration to say that some governments must be drawn throwing and shouting to allow private operators into the national playing market. Many countries did the minimum amount that was sufficient to stop EUROPEAN encroachment process and designed regulatory frameworks that favoured, if not straight up protected, their state-owned playing monopolies. Additionally, just to make sure that commercial operators are not too successful, these same governments also charged a high tax rate. England is a classic example of this course of action and to a certain extent The country and A holiday in greece are following French footsteps. Germany cannot bring itself to walk even that far.

In this mix, regulators get an extensive remit to keep a check on commercial operators. ARJEL in England is reasonably 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 England.

The role of regulators has up to now not been completely 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 playing industry solely an arm of the place’s executive?

So far, the pattern of behaviour of playing regulators leads observers to consentrate that they act a lot more like the arm of governments than independent referees.

Where state-owned playing operators have a large market share and are protected legally from competition in some 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 very 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 foundations through the regulator.

England is the very good example. Nys controlled PMU and FDJ’s principal position in land-based playing activities (where they are protected by law) allowed them to gain a competitive advantage in online activities, even thought legal issues states they have to separate their land-based and marketers. It took the Western european Gaming and Bets Association’s criticism 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 increase the issue. This is a classic case where the regulator should have intervened. One of ARJEL’s declared quests, after all, is to ensure complying by operators.

You have to wonder if the unwillingness, or frustration, of certain governments in allowing commercial playing operators to trade is being produced in the actions of regulatory bodies.

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