GVC Director of Regulatory Affairs, Martin Lycka, talks about the history of gambling laws and indicates the most important elements of successful regulation policy. In the first series of columns, the GVC director makes some interesting observations regarding casino regulation.
Martin Lycka has joined the online gambling industry about ten years ago. At that time, the main goal of the gambling sector was to harmonize online gaming legislation on the EU level. Online gambling providers should convince the European Commission to take into consideration the whole unification process by creating only one regulatory body. With only one EU license, online gambling will open its doors to all EU members.
According to Martin Lycka, online gambling regulation on the European Union level should be the same. However, European countries are not interested in making the step further and fighting for single regulation. At the same time, US states to keep the opinion that online gambling should remain prohibited all over the country.
After more than ten years at the Regulatory company, the GVC director notices obvious changes. Almost all EU Member States have regulated the online gambling sector in a particular way. Following the trend of European countries, most US states started to regulate the betting sphere. The same applies to Latin American countries, where Buenos Aires seeks to obtain its gaming license while the Brazilian government seeks the most useful way for introducing gambling regulation across the country.
In the atmosphere of ongoing gambling regulation, lawyers have to manage numerous cases and situations. Lawyers are busier than ever before and they look for an adequate way to think over the best regulatory framework.
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Most recent changes
The gambling regulatory framework has notably changed over the previous years. Both gambling technology and digitalization evolved to a completely new level and became automated. It motivated gamblers to change their behaviour in relation to gambling and adopt new gambling rules.
Leading gambling sites look for additional ways to enhance users’ experience by offering AI-integrated processes and a higher level of protection. Online sites specifically focus on areas like responsible gambling, anti-money laundering policy and sports integrity. All these innovations create serious issues for the regulatory sector and legislators who find it difficult to integrate all technological creations under the same provision.
In this atmosphere, there is no perfect regulation which would include all gambling-related concepts under the same legal provision.
Key Regulation Elements
According to Martin Lycka, there are two general requirements which successful gambling regulation should include:
- It should be flexible and involve emerging products and services related to gambling. In addition, it should go above the strict letter of the law and tend to include as many situations as possible.
- It should be strict and reasonable while ensuring the highest possible protection of consumers’ rights. At the same time, it should not make additional commercial pressure on operators.
One of the obvious examples of wrong gambling policy is French regulation. The country combined a high turnover tax with a ban on one of the leading gambling categories which led to significant growth of the black market. Two other countries, Denmark and Spain, showed that combinations of both gambling principles can improve gambling services with benefits on the sides of operators, regulators, and customers. Meanwhile, the rest of the world pays attention to the US, Brazil, Germany, and the Netherlands which should regulate the gambling sphere in a completely new way.
All remaining jurisdictions take examples from states which have successfully regulated the online gambling sphere. They also look to implement the best possible solution which currently exists. By following all previous steps, customers can rest assured about upcoming gambling regulations in these countries.
About Martin Lycka
Martin Lycka represents a solicitor and director of regulatory affairs at GVC Holdings. Martin has been in-house legal and counsel in worldwide gambling operators for over 9 years. Before working for GVC, Martin has been a part of Salans Europe LLP and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. He graduated from the Prague Faculty of Law and obtained an LL.M. degree at the College of Europe in Burges. Martin won the prize for Head of Regulatory Affairs in 2019.