Money over misery: restrictive gambling legislation in an era of liberalization

Carsten Jensen (Aarhus University)
Carsten Jensen (Aarhus University)

With the rapid extension of its online segment, gambling has transitioned from a fringe pastime to a key source of both commercial and public revenue. But the popularity of gambling across Europe comes at a price, as estimates put the number of gambling addicts in the EU anywhere between 2.5 and 10 million individuals. Amid a general convergence among policy-makers’ regulatory responses, Carsten Jensen points out that some national gambling policies in Europe appear to follow distinct trajectories. Based on a comparative analysis of Norway’s restrictive approach towards gambling and Denmark’s liberal regulatory regime, he concludes that policy-makers “appear to prioritize reduced gambling addiction only when the state itself is not directly benefitting from the activity”. Read Carsten’s article “Money over misery: restrictive gambling legislation in an era of liberalization” published in the Journal of European Public Policy to learn how Norwegian policy-makers only went ahead with restrictive policies after their own reform efforts in the early 1990s incidentally shut Norway out from gambling’s revenue stream.