Cross-border Online Gambling Law and Policy
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Cross-border Online Gambling Law and Policy

Julia Hörnle and Brigitte Zammit

This highly topical book analyses the conflicts between different regulatory regimes governing online gambling in the international context and how these affect the cross-border provision of online gambling.
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Chapter 2: Social Policy and Regulatory Models

Julia Hörnle and Brigitte Zammit


Julia Hörnle 2.1 MOTIVES OF REGULATION One traditional motive for the regulation of gambling is that it has been regarded as a socially harmful and immoral activity, the promotion of which is against the public interest. This notion is originally based on religious doctrines, which prohibited gambling as immoral, associating it with the devil, swearing and blasphemy. The traditional connection between divinatory practices was another reason for condemning gambling.1 In addition, this notion is based on the assumption that gambling is an unproductive activity, leading to idleness and wastefulness.2 Following from this motive, regulation has attempted to confine gambling to narrow bounds (through outright prohibition, providing for state controlled gambling monopolies, or by limiting it to certain tightly controlled physical locations, such as casinos and by prohibiting gambling advertising). Regulators have seen a need to satisfy the unavoidable demand for some forms of gambling while at the same time restricting supply. Traditionally, one compromise solution has been to allow certain, restricted forms of gambling but to ensure that the income derived is used for beneficial, charitable or cultural purposes or accrues to the state as tax revenue. However, this use of funds for public or charitable purposes has led to inconsistent regulation of gambling. The growing need for public funds has led to an expansion of gambling, even by state operators and not-for-profit operators. This expansion clashes with the stated need to restrict gambling as a socially harmful activity.3 The notion of gambling as a harmful activity also conflicts...

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