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Consumer Interests and the Regulation and Taxation of Gambling

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Chapter Summary

The lack of systematic measurement of consumer benefits from provision of gambling services is both a symptom and a cause of gamblers' interests being disregarded as if gamblers were second class citizens. This chapter reports new estimates of such benefits which are sufficiently large that, while methodological limitations make estimates necessarily imprecise. It examines that research efforts should be keenly focused on the implications for consumer interests of policies such as extending availability of gambling, regulating the industry to different levels and opening up national markets to competition from operators in other European Union states. The chapter evaluates only consumer surplus in respect of play by recreational, as opposed to problem, gamblers. Restrictions on gambling are a feature of nearly all jurisdictions. They are motivated both by the protection of economic rents (in which governments share) and by a desire to mitigate social problems associated with gambling.

Keywords: consumer interests; consumer surplus; economic rents; European Union states; gambling services



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