Casino City's iGaming Pocket Directory - 2015 Edition

106 Sponsored by Casino City’s iGaming Pocket Directory JURISDICTIONS united kingdom & EUROPE As of press time, last-ditch legal efforts were being made to repeal the tax. But if the tax remains in effect, it could reshape the industry. The UK online gaming market is £2 billion, according to a 2013 report by Stickyeyes. As a result, the proposed tax will generate a healthy revenue stream for the government. But it will also take a fair amount of money out of the pockets of operators. And operators are still in the process of sorting out how they’ll respond to it. One of the fears in the industry is the tax will impact the affiliate industry. The only truly variable cost in an online gaming operation is marketing. With compliance, tax and operating costs on the rise, the marketing budget will be hit. Will operators increase marketing to acquire new players to make up for the taxed revenue? Or will they squeeze marketing budgets – particularly on the affiliate side – to make up the difference? That’s the big question as the first effects of point of consumption tax are felt in 2015. EUROPE It was a good news/bad news situation in the rest of Europe. Spain approved new regulations that would allow online slot machines and spread betting. The Netherlands is poised to liberalize its online gaming market sometime in 2015. In October, it asked operators to express potential interest in a Dutch license. The Dutch will also be seeking input from operators on the regulatory framework that’s being put together. But as of press time, the original goal of launching online gaming in January 2015 was very much in doubt. And finally Spain and Italy failed to negotiate a deal that would allow the two countries to share player liquidity for online poker.