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Gaming Guru

David Newstead

Changing EU regulations: What do they all mean for players?

17 September 2010

Many casino and poker players will not have heard of the flux in Europe regarding gaming regulations. That's understandable, who would want to? As long as a player can load up their favourite poker room or online casino, deposit, play and win, why would the small print in a piece of gambling legislation effect them? Well, as it turns out, it might well have some serious implications...

Poker players have always been very savvy when it comes to change, with some of the most casual players actually semi professional in outlook. Quite right too, as many supplement their wages by playing poker online and even the slightest change can affect how much they take home. Never mind the actual pros out here that do make a living from off and online poker. So it was no surprise to me and a lot of the industry when it was poker players that first felt the changes made by the French Government, boycotting a well known poker operator for passing on the costs of French licensing fees by increasing the house cut per hand. The fractional increase enough for poker players that work on fine margins between luck, skill, rakeback and the necessary deduction for the house, resulting in a reduction in their playing profits.

Some of the angst was aimed not at the actual increase in costs but at the fact the French had been singled out, by their own Government no less, to receive an inferior service to their European playing counterparts. It's all bit rotten, with France the nation that fought hardest for the formation of a common European market, only to regulate gaming now because they can make a fast buck. What happened to the free movement of goods? A principle enshrined in the proposed Constitution and at the heart of the foundation of the EEC (European Economic Community) simple and casually disregarded.

We'll see the same in casinos and sports betting in the near future too, where the costs of licensing fees, office space, auditors, and lawyers will all result in escalating costs for operators. These will need to be accounted for and the only way will be players and business partners, and that includes me as an affiliate. I expect we may see a decrease in commission rates and a lowering of CPA figures.

Is it fair? Probably. Is it fair on players? No. But don't look at operators, look to your own Governments whose decisions now may mean less competition, less innovation, less choice and industry stagnation, as well as the aforementioned added costs to players.

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Changing EU regulations: What do they all mean for players? is republished from