Forberger, S., Bühringer, G.

Governance regulations of the gambling market: between nanny state and laissez faire?


In P. Anderson, G. Bühringer & J. Colom (Hrsg.), Refraiming addiction: policies, processes and pressures. The Alice-Rap project (S. 58-73). ISBN: 978-84-697-1647-2. Availaible online,


Background: Gambling in Europe is highly regulated, with considerable differences between EU member states. Regulations and policies in the gambling market are influenced by interactions between national gambling regulations, European jurisdictions, and case law. They are based on different aims, e.g. (1) to pursue public health interests like preventing gambling disorders, consumer protection and protection of disordered gamblers, as well as, (2) to promote economic interests like tax revenues, market shares and company profits. Aims: We aim to analyse possible justifications for regulations in the gambling market. Methods: We analyses Mill’s harm principle as an individual-based public health approach and the economic theory of failed markets as an example of a liberal approach. Results: Both examples of these opposing concepts would justify governmental interventions in the gambling market under certain specific conditions. The major, common reason for market regulation is seen in avoiding harms to others. Regulations might be justified in the cases of avoiding risk to others and to those incapable and to prevent failed markets. Conclusions: Underlying justifications are based on different political and philosophical concepts and lead to different solutions to strike a balance between individual freedom and governmental control. These different options, related benefits and harms, require consideration in a broader public debate and further research to lead to improved policies and regulations within the EU



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