Courts across Europe are the battlegrounds for control of the growing online casinos gambling industry. This is no surprise as online casinos gambling is worth over $100 billion per year and while online casinos gambling companies want more freedom for online casinos play governments are worried of losing their income from national lotteries.
"Online casinos legality is no longer a case of 'will the barriers come down', but more a question of timing" says Ewout Keuleers, a Belgian lawyer. "Between 1992 and 2004 the online casinos gambling restrictions were challenged 5 times in European courts. Only last year alone these online casinos restrictions have been challenged 4 times. Although European Union laws allow cross-border trade by online casinos gambling companies, many prevent it by claiming they are protecting the public from developing an online casinos gambling addiction. However the same countries run equally addictive national lotteries.
Dr. David Forrest from Salford University says that the opening of online casinos gambling markets can impact the sales of lotteries. "Machine gaming has affected the lottery in Australia, and when there's a lottery rollover in the UK, other forms of gambling suffer". The managing director of online casinos and telephone gaming at Ladbrokes, John O'Reilly, disagrees and says "Our view is that many state laws are in breach of the EU law. Politically it's an uphill battle. The UK, Ireland and Malta already support online casinos gambling and a free gambling market and we see signs of movement in Germany".