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The report provides a comprehensive account of the state of the European casino industry. All members, representing 23 countries across Europe.


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The European Casino Association (ECA) has launched a new campaign highlighting the positive impact of the licensed industry for economies and societies. The report and campaign highlight areas, such as direct and indirect employment, economic impact, Copyright - International Casino Review | GB Media.


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The European Casino Association (ECA) represents national associations and licensed land-based casino industry with 30 member countries across Europe. (EASG), engaging in dialogue with experts about research and responsible gambling. LinkedIn © ; About · Accessibility · User Agreement · Privacy Policy.


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Developing licensed and controlled online gambling The ECA not only promises a detailed look into the status of the land-based casino industry in the different European countries, but also describes how several of our members are coping with the challenges and opportunities of online gaming, especially now that it is becoming regulated in more and more European countries. Concretely, these burdens translate into higher costs, and therefore, cost and job cutting efforts for legal land-based casinos in Europe. To meet the needs of the growing membership, our new modern offices at Avenue de Tervuren will serve as a central meeting place in Brussels for our board, working groups and secretariat. The remarkable thing is that in some regulated countries, the newly licensed online operators, who were previously offering their services illegally, are now claiming that regulators do not do enough to fight the remaining illegal operators. Although this is clearly a case of the pot calling the kettle black, these newly licensed online operators are now beginning to understand the real issues at stake. Taxation will no longer be based on the rate of the place of supply, but rather, on the rate of the place of consumption. Before acting or refraining to act on any information you read in this report it is strongly recommended that you obtain independent legal advice. ECA calls for trialogues between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council, to ensure that the scope of the directive is extended to all forms of gambling and to guarantee that the directive includes measures that strike a better balance between being responsible and being workable. They have never shied away from their responsibilities towards their customers. Herzfeld Consulting is specialised in the fields of strategy consulting, identifying suitable business models, efficient search for investors, launching productive cooperations and entry into new markets. Finally, the content of this report is based on information available at the time it was drafted and does not prejudge any modifications or amendments in any form whatsoever that may be implemented after the drafting of this report and which may influence its content. Time and time again, this issue of illegal online competition has been raised by the landbased casino operators. The new framework was completed last year, but will be regularly monitored for possible improvements, since this is a key issue for ECA. Online gambling involves a greater risk of addiction than land-based gambling due to the lack of direct contact between the consumer and the operator as well as the omnipresence of the games on the internet. That is, whether online gaming is legal and, if so, how well their market is protected against illegal operators. As with many of Europe s casinos, the slow and often uneven economic recovery has resulted in customers having less disposable income to spend in Nordic casinos. Any and every consumer protection measure has no effect on illegal gambling services, because of the very fact that they are operating illegally. For example, just as VAT will be applied in the country of reception in all EU countries, starting in , so too should gambling taxation be applied in the country of consumption. The largest drop in revenues happened in Greece with another Compared to previous years, the decrease in Italy was less severe thanks to improved results in table games. Competition from low-tax online competitors, which offer a form of convenience gambling that has proven more popular than destination gambling in many European markets, has also hampered growth. Gambling Compliance Research Services is a full service provider of legal, regulatory, political and business insight for the global gambling industry. This development helps our members stay in touch with their customers, even when they are not onsite. This report would also not be possible without the general support from ECA s associate members, Herzfeld Consulting and GamblingCompliance. ECA likewise believes that the Subsidiarity Principle, which enables member states to implement the most effective and appropriate enforcement measures, should be maintained. Commissioned research from GCRS could help you: Track gambling legislation and regulation across jurisdictions and anticipate and respond to legislative developments Compare key facets of legislation and regulation across jurisdictions Grasp the political fundamentals driving legislative movements Monitor competitor lobbying spend Gauge the size and growth trajectory of gambling markets via product-specific data forecasts Contact us to find out more: Herzfeld Consulting Paul Herzfeld has been CEO of an international casino and gaming group, responsible for its expansion into new markets and the development of projects in Europe, Middle East, Australia, South Africa, Canada and South America. The Nordic countries enjoy a gross domestic product per capita that is higher than the European average, but land-based casino revenues have gradually fallen or remained stagnant in the last three years, that is until recent results which showed some signs of a small but encouraging rebound.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} This means that illegal gambling websites should face strict action by competent authorities. Europe Outlook: Online Gambling Applying anti-money laundering measures to the entire gambling industry In this highly competitive gaming market, the revision of the Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive is of particular interest to the ECA. If anything has proven to be a hurdle in the stagnating European land-based casino market, it has been the extremely high gambling tax levels. There is a need for control and supervision of gambling activities on a national level, as well as measures to enable gambling to be conducted properly, fairly and transparently. These new taxation rules are highly criticised, mostly by offshore online operators claiming that the proposed tax levels make it impossible to operate a profitable business. A wide range of possible tools available to prevent unlicensed operators from offering their services illegally already exist. The ECA is, amongst other things, active in many different areas related to gambling policy. On many occasions, the most effective measure has proven to be the arrest and prosecution of the ultimate beneficial owners of illegal operations. Tracking regulatory change across the global gambling industry is our core business, which means we can provide immediate access to an independent, cost effective and skilled team to deliver tailored research reports. As was also the case last year, all of the ECA members have contributed to the chapter about their country. Playing safe and secure In the field of responsible gaming and consumer protection, ECA s members have always been at the forefront. It is clear that there is no standard answer on how to deal with online gaming, other than to simply use the opportunity to offer our services through an additional channel of distribution. This is why time and effort should be focused on enhancing the fight against illegal gambling operators in order to create a safe gaming environment for European consumers. It is an opportunity to make use of all of the wonderful locations spanning Europe, which are rich with beautiful, historic sites and which make this continent unique; to experience the local hospitality and the many different cultures; to get a taste of the original local flavour, something that cannot be found anywhere else. Illegal operators generally do not abide by any consumer protection or anti-money laundering rules, fraud prevention measures, or taxation obligations. These increases vary from a modest 1. Furthermore the ECA advocates for solid consumer protection measures in the field of gambling by ensuring the member states are in a position to enforce measures against illegal gambling. This report may be: i copied, photocopied or duplicated in any form by any means; or ii redistributed or republished. The extent to which our members are able to make use of these additional services depends on the market regulations in their home country. Yet, when compared to the generally very high gambling tax levels, which the landbased casino operators in Europe are facing, these claims make absolutely no sense. Slot machines in the casinos saw a percent jump because of the shutting down of all street machines in the arcades in Hungary. But in the past, since the proposed measures were not backed by the EU, national politicians and regulators would not support our recommendations. Casinos are audited by independent experts according to these standards, and a positive outcome results in Certification for Responsible Gaming endorsed by ECA. The strength lies in the member states applying a combination of several tools to protect their citizens in accordance with their own gambling policy. In addition, the risks to the safety and well being of consumers inherent to illegal online gambling seem to be grossly underestimated by some. ECA believes that combatting illegal gambling, along with the dangers illegal gambling entails for consumers, should be a focal point for the EU. Measures have to be severe, because, at the end of the day, there is no room for criminal behaviour in regulated gaming markets. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}After the great success of the first report in , it was clear that the would become an annual standard, not only for all ECA members, but also for many other stakeholders presenting a comprehensive overview of the European casino industry. There have been a few recent developments within the ECA membership, which are reflected in the additions to this year s ECA. Their support is essential to the completeness and accuracy of the report and, as such, is greatly appreciated. The United Kingdom has decided to introduce this principle, beginning December 1, Online operators who offer services to people who usually live in the United Kingdom will be confronted with the new positioning of the consumption tax. Ideally, cooperation, including the sharing of best practices about how to fight illegal online gambling, should be global. However, no representation or warranty express or implied is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this report. These include blacklisting, blocking illegal sites, establishing secure and traceable payment methods, blocking financial transactions and controlling illegal advertising, etcetera. Unfortunately, with 17 countries showing a decrease in revenues, the European casino industry is not out of the woods, yet. Last but not least, bottom lines of land-based casino operators throughout Europe are burdened by heavy gaming taxes, the levels of which date back to the days when the gambling landscape looked entirely different. In Latvia, Romania, Lithuania and Slovakia the rise in overall results was mainly due to slot machines. The European Casino Association, GamblingCompliance and Herzfeld Consulting may not be held liable for any of the said modifications or amendments. European casinos still hit by weak economy When we compare the revenues of the 25 ECA member countries on a year-by-year basis, we see that only eight countries have shown an increase. Founded in the early 90s as the European Casino Forum, the ECA has gradually grown over the years and today includes members from the majority of the EU s member states as well as from Switzerland and Serbia. ECA is happy to include chapters about its two newest members, Latvia, and most recently, the United Kingdom. Furthermore, the European Casino Association, GamblingCompliance and Herzfeld Consulting do not intend this report to be interpreted, by any reader as constituting legal advice. This point of contention is especially important because a lower threshold leads to heavier, albeit unnecessary, administrative burdens for casinos. Calling for tax levels that allow casinos to invest Regulated gambling markets also call for reasonable and realistic gambling taxes, which would likewise fall under the country of destination principle. These newly licensed online operators are now complaining that the playing field is not even and the competition unfair. The other six countries that saw improvements in their results were Latvia, Romania, Lithuania, Slovakia, United Kingdom and Poland, with a rise of 4. The fight against illegal gambling is one of the key priorities for the ECA members, as well as ensuring a certain level playing field between the different actors in the gambling market. This framework sets the standards for Responsible Gaming. The European Casino Association, GamblingCompliance and Herzfeld Consulting and its employees do not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained substitute for local legal advice in each jurisdiction covered. On the upside, we see a growing interest among European operators to attract Asian customers who come to Europe for business or tourism. All rights reserved. Within said purpose the association aims to: Collect and provide information on casino operations and casino administration including assessment of European and national legislation and regulations addressing casino operations Increase awareness and understanding of the casino industry amongst EU policy makers and stakeholders Constructively contribute to EU decision making on matters affecting the casino sector. Online casinos and other gambling sectors are currently not affected by the Directive, thus further exacerbating the problem of unfair competition. No measure, by itself, suffices. To this end, the ECA aims to serve as a network, communicate and work with the EU institutions on anything related to casino operations. Any reader, or their associated corporate entity, who relies on any information contained in this report does so entirely at their own risk. ECA believes that broadening the scope of the directive to the online gaming industry, as well as to other gambling sectors, is of particular significance. We hope this report will help you to get a good feel for what is happening in the European casino industry and what can be expected in the near future. With his company Herzfeld Consulting and based on more than 35 years of experience in the gaming industry he provides services for international gaming companies. They simply choose not to follow the rules. Copyright European Casino Association. Should the status quo regarding the 2, threshold for customer due diligence be maintained by the European Council and the European Commission, this would continue the undesirable situation whereby the threshold is lower than the FATF recommended 3, Since one of the goals of the Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive is to ensure it is in line with the international FATF standards, it is difficult to understand why the threshold would not be the same in Europe. It is very rewarding to see that ECA continues to amass strength as it reaches the 10 year anniversary of its official founding in January Today ECA represents an industry of close to 8bn and the interests of approximately casinos and over 70, employees in 25 countries across Europe and is the recognised voice of the licensed European casino industry. This is simply based on the nature of the internet. The high growth percentage in Hungary can, for the most part, be attributed to the slot results. These tax levels make it very difficult for land-based casino operators to invest in the development of their facilities, including non-gaming services, in order to attract new customers. In contrast with land-based operators, illegal online gambling operators do not offer any guarantees to consumers in terms of the protection of assets, payment of winnings, integrity of games or guarding against excessive gambling. Illegal online gambling services are, as in large parts of the world, still a big problem in many member countries. The smallest decreases happened in Spain with -1 percent, and Switzerland with Common factors for the decline in revenues in the European casino industry since are, among others, the recession, stricter regulations, the introduction of smoking bans, the ongoing competition from illegal online operators and from street machines, arcades and VLTs especially as these are often not as strictly regulated as casinos. Though ECA and the National Casino Forum have maintained positive relations throughout the years, both organizations felt that joining forces would help to fulfil the common industry regulatory and policy endeavours and that a unified voice would reinforce our influence in Europe.