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The European Commission released a study this week that shows that the popular tactic of gaming regulators of blocking unlicensed betting websites is ineffective in stopping access to unlicensed betting.
The report, which is titled "valuation of Regulatory Tools for Enforcing Online Gambling Rules and Channeling Demand towards Controlled Offers", is the Commission's attempt at harmonizing some of the betting laws on the continent. 18 members of the E.U. are using website blocking to help enforce their betting laws, 12 don't, and 4 more are considering the measures. 12 of those 18 use DNS blocking, 2 use IP address blocking, and the remaining four don't use just one technology .
The big issue, according to the report is that many of the sites on the blacklist are inactive. Many countries have domains on their list that haven't been active in some time, and more domains pop up than can be added to the blacklist. Many sites that are blacklisted then redirect to a landing page, which gives punters information on finding pages that aren't currently on the blacklist.
Another big issue is the lack of cooperation between national gaming regulators. 42% of jurisdictions say that they've never exchanged information on online betting, with only 16% saying they share data regularly. Steps in maintaining effective regulation of online betting are highly contingent on having up-to-date information, and if bodies aren't working together, this will be impossible.
The European Commission is looking to consolidate betting laws in the European Union, as things are currently fragmented and difficult to enforce. Studies such as this one are important steps in achieving this goal, and it'll be interesting to see just how the Commission move forward.