Multi-licensing approach for online gambling gaining "undeniable momentum" in Europe, says EGBA

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Multi-licensing approach for online gambling gaining "undeniable momentum" in Europe, says EGBA
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A new analysis by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) shows that 27 out of 31 European countries employ some form of multi-licensing for online gambling, with an overwhelming majority implementing a full multi-licensing approach.

In recent years, Europe has experienced a remarkable transformation in online gambling regulation. Just fifteen years ago, most European countries lacked dedicated regulations for online gambling or operated under exclusive rights models where only state-owned entities had a monopoly to offer online gambling services. Only seven countries (Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Malta, UK) had a multi-licensing model for online gambling in 2009.

Today the situation has evolved significantly. An EGBA analysis concludes that the multi-licensing model has become the predominant regulatory approach in Europe. Under this model, multiple companies are permitted to offer online gambling services within a country, provided they comply with strict regulatory obligations.

Key findings of the analysis:

  • 27 out of 31 European countries have adopted some form of multi-licensing, indicating a robust trend towards open, competitive markets.
  • Four countries currently do not have any form of multi-licensing: Finland, Iceland, and Norway maintain exclusive rights models, granting state-owned entities a monopoly over all online gambling services, while Luxembourg lacks dedicated regulations for online gambling.
  • Of the 27 countries with multi-licensing, 23 countries have a full multi-licensing model for all regulated online gambling products in those countries.
  • Four countries have a mixed model with partial multi-licensing: Slovenia and Switzerland each have a monopoly for online sports betting, while Austria and Poland each have a monopoly for online casino gaming and poker, with multi-licensing for all other online gambling products.
  • Cyprus (casino gaming and poker) and France (casino gaming) each impose product-specific prohibitions but both have multi-licensing for all other regulated online gambling products.
  • Finland is currently undergoing legislative reforms and is expected to establish a multi-licensing framework for online gambling in 2026.

The momentum towards full multi-licensing for online gambling in Europe is undeniable," says EGBA's report. "While a few exceptions still exist, governments are concluding that public policy objectives, particularly related to consumer protection and tax generation, are more effectively met through well-regulated online competition. Finland’s current transition towards multi-licensing signals the impending end of the last online gambling monopoly in the EU, marking a significant regulatory milestone.”

Similar deliberations regarding the future of the online monopoly are inevitable in Norway and Iceland. Furthermore, the handful of countries with either partial monopolies or product prohibitions should strive for greater consistency and effectiveness in their policies by phasing these out,”.

"With over 15 years of regulatory experience in Europe, it’s clear that full multi-licensing offers the best pathway to enhance consumer protection, increase tax revenues, and ensure stronger regulatory control. The time has come for the last remaining European countries to embrace this optimal form of online regulation."