European Online Gambling Sees Progress

Purely national approach is insufficient to deal with online gambling

It was stated by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), a major trade association for leading internet gambling groups in Europe, that an acknowledgement has finally come from the EU ministers, who admitted that online gambling requires more than that a purely national approach. In addition, they stated that this will pave the way for increased cooperation at the European level.

According to EGBA, the document issued on Dec. 10, "Council Conclusions on the Framework for Gambling and Betting in the Member States of the European Union" represents a landmark in the policy discussion around online gambling.

Ever since the debate on online gambling began in the Council in 2008, until now the countries have never reached a unanimous position, so this will represent additional impetus to the recently announced Commission´s Green Paper consultation, EGBA opines.

According to the association’s Secretary General, Sigrid Ligné: "The importance of these conclusions for online gambling in the EU cannot be underestimated. The Member States expressly support an in-depth discussion on online gambling in the Internal Market as proposed by Commissioner Barnier [head of the European Commission].

"For the first time they have also unanimously agreed to work on very practical measures to improve cross-border cooperation. EGBA commends the Belgian Presidency for its hard work and this remarkable result."

The members have also reached an agreement on a number of actions that national regulatory authorities could undertake in order to improve cooperation between them, including cooperation on consumer protection, sports integrity, minimising unnecessary administrative burdens and the sharing of best practice in relation to responsible gambling measures.

"Since Commissioner Barnier announced the Green Paper, the debate on online gambling is evolving rapidly. The landscape has changed. Less than a year ago, these conclusions would have been unthinkable. EGBA fully supports the Commission in its efforts to issue the Green Paper as soon as possible," Ligne added.

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