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Online gambling and international regulation: an outside bet

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This paper will consider the factors which hinder regulation of gambling at an international level, particularly focusing on regulation at EU level. These obstacles include: (a) the wide divergence in approach to regulation of gambling activities and of gambling advertising in different jurisdictions and the lack of consensus as to the risks of online gambling; (b) the status of gambling as an activity of questionable morality; (c) the borderless nature of the Internet and the 'lowest common denominator' regulation problem; (d) the lack of gambling tax harmonization within the EU; and (e) the development of new forms of gambling such as betting exchanges and spread betting and the new regulatory challenges which these activities give rise to. After assessing these obstacles, the paper will then briefly assess some of the regulatory options available to the EU along with the desirability of such regulation.

Keywords: E-commerce Directive; betting exchanges; country of destination approach; country of origin approach; gambling; online gambling; regulation; spread betting; tax harmonization

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Law Reform Commission of Ireland, Ireland

Publication date: 2009-10-01

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