Home » 2009 » Currently Reading:

Interview of Thibault Verbiest for Game Spectrum

February 20, 2009 2009

“Game Spectrum” is a magazine that is focused on the Balkan Region & Eastern Europe.

1. In your opinion how online gaming should be regulated.

It should be regulated in a proper way. It should be regulated in a way which is actually not just extreme positions between either the pure nationalism of some member states like France, the Netherlands or Germany nor it should be very naïve pro European approach of some bookmakers because their license in UK, Malta or Gibraltar they receive by the same talk and European passports to do whatever they want in the rest of the Europe. Those are two extreme positions but having in mind the opinions of other legal gaming advisors I would say that we need a compromise – the compromise is obtaining a local license or that means that if an operator is licensed in an European country and he wants to operate in another European country, he needs further to apply for a license in that other country through more simplified procedure that will not require entire establishment in that other country. So the operator may stay where he is and he is not obliged to move all his servers and the company to the other country. And to make it workable the only way is conclusion of corporation agreements between all European countries as long as we do not have the European directive of the online gaming Prohibition is not regulation. The prohibition leads to the absence of control and sometimes to criminal organization. Regulation with a compromise between national regulations and consideration for the other European countries is the best way. I think that the most important issue is a local gaming tax. The most of the European countries will demand to levy tax on online gambling and the best thing is to have so called “online gaming tax”, which is not based on the turnover or even benefit of incomes of the company. It should be based on the gross profit revenue of the portion of the games conducted with the players of the given country. It’s what the gaming operator actually perceives from the game -bet minus win.

2. Do you find any regulatory model for online gaming as a good one and may you point out its main characters?

Alderney is the best one with a very good regulatory environment with a long time experience. With the paradoxical situation that we got, that in one hand Alderney is British Satellite and is outside the European Union, plus it is not a European Member State, it has a very demanding proper regulatory environment, which is the source of exploration of other regulations like UK, France and Malta, as well found, in Alderney a very good source of exploration for its own regulations.

3. How the player and the legitimate interests of the operators and the state should be protected in online gaming?

One of the main things in my opinion is the question of the location of the servers. Many regulators like Italy or even Malta with the exception of Alderney, strongly believe that the only way to control online gaming industry is to make sure that the all peaces of the technology are based on the national sole. This is at the same time not feasible for many operators and is not a necessity for a good regulation. Gaming sites offering Cash Poker, for example, may have players from all across the globe and they will play against each other on pair to pair platform. In this case there will be players from Bulgaria, Italy, USA, China etc. and all of them will be playing against each other. The gaming server that actually makes it possible for each of players to play and to bet, should be located just in one place where it is being controlled by the regulator without possibility of having server in several jurisdictions or possibility to duplicate it. But duplication of the registration server, which is dedicated to the registration of the customers, is possible. Gaming server could be located just in one place and for instance France, Bulgaria, Spain etc. could have agreements with Alderney and Malta that the server may remain where it is because like this can be controlled what exact actions of the citizens of that particular country are, not of any other.

4. Do you think that the regulation of online gaming should be settled on in an international level?

Before saying international, let’s try to make it European first. In my opinion the international may appear in five, ten years maybe via WTO (World Trade Organization) as a good organization to set common standards, guidelines for international online gambling. But first step is European, because once the EU has agreed on the common standards, afterwards it will be able afterwards to negotiate a treaty with the countries as USA, China etc.

5. How do you see the future of online gaming?

We are now on the process of a big revolution in the way we provide gaming services, the franchise between the online and offline is very artificial, because most of the offline operators will offer online services either via internet or via offline premises. The games will become virtualized and computerized. Everything will be online even if it is offline. That is why it is so painful now for the traditional casino industry. They have to transform themselves and to understand that is not the other world outside it is just continuation of their activity. And they have to set up alliances with online operators. It’s a new industry merging will be the future.

Thibault Verbiest

Posted by:

Legal Gaming in Europe Summit 2013 – Summary Day 1

Legal Gaming in Europe Summit 2013 Day 1 Summary Video

Video: International Gaming Law Summit 2011 Highlights

International Gaming Law Summit 2011 Highlights Video

Copyright: http://www.calvinayre.com

To get the latest news follow us on