Online Gambling – Reconciling New Technology and the International Consumer Interest

S. Marco and M. Doris (UK)


Gambling Law, Consumers, Regulation, Technology


This paper seeks to examine the international consumer interest in online gambling and the power of new technologies to better safeguard consumer rights and interests. The study focuses, in particular, upon recent US and Australian experience in regulating online gambling and considers whether current policy in traditionally free market economies, such as the UK, has to date been unduly consumer orientated. It explores the latest attempts at European level to establish a wider Community legal framework and the neglect of technology considerations. The impact of the 2005 UK Gambling Act is thereafter analysed. Importantly, whilst EU regulators have understandably concentrated thus far upon protecting ‘hard core’ gamblers, with the emergence of ever simpler gaming formats targeting mass online markets, future growth will undoubtedly be driven by purely ‘recreational’ consumers. Crucially therefore, whilst previous studies have examined the social costs of gambling generally, the role of technology is little studied from the perspective of international consumers. This paper aims to redress that imbalance.

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