In a special feature by EGR Magazine, Stephen Carter examines Europe’s shift from dot.com to dot.country licensing in the online gambling industry. This has become a very important issue, as an increasing number of countries are using the dot.country scheme to get operators to obtain local gaming licenses.
Under the dot.country licensing regime, operators must adhere to rules and regulations set out by the local government, in addition to paying taxes. This differs from the dot.com scheme, as operators are only required to pay taxes to the country in which they are located. Under this regime, many online casino operators relocated to offshore locations like Gibraltar in order to avoid steep taxes in countries such as the United Kingdom.
As more countries adopt the dot.country scheme, however, the relocation to offshore locations will become futile. Even operators located in Gibraltar and Malta will have to pay taxes to the governments of France, Italy and other countries that have regulated online gambling markets.
Italy is currently one of the most successful examples dot.country gambling market. With a competitive tax scheme, it has become the most profitable online gambling market. The regulation of online gambling in the country has deterred players from using illegal online casinos, contributing a great deal of tax revenue to Italy’s government programs and Earthquake fund.