Title: 'Online Sports Betting Regulation in Estonia: The Dichotomy between Protectionism and Social Objectives'
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Drechsler
Opponent: Prof. Dr. Rainer Kattel
Defense: 2 September 2016
Abstract: This thesis explores the historical development of the industry regulatory practices within both the European Union Member States and Estonia. A comparative analysis of the European regulatory frameworks and legal/social issues associated with the activity is used as an anchor against which the licensing regime introduced by the local government is then compared as well. The thesis concentrates on both the conditions and the rhetoric used by the local authorities in the development of the building blocks of the regulation introduced in 2010. The aim of the author is to analyze the dichotomy between potential economic protectionism in the form of the fiscal, economical and developmental benefits that the regulation brings, and the impact on social objectives that are considered, on paper at least, as the primary purpose of the industry regulation. From the methodological perspective, the current paper is a mix between qualitative and quantitative methods and includes historical research, documentation analysis and (background) interviews. As a result, the current thesis outlines the imbalances that the currently used regulatory structure has when analyzed thoroughly. Many of these issues are universal, although there is scope for improvement if appropriate investments would be considered.
Keywords: Regulation, online betting, Estonia, protectionism