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Online gambling: the Commission to test national regulators’ appetite to cooperate and develop common EU rules

Date

22 Feb 2012

Sections

Health & Consumers

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) today welcomed the European Commission’s initiative to bring together for the first time Europe’s regulatory authorities and Member States’ online gambling experts on 27 February.


This meeting constitutes the first of a list of actions announced by Commissioner Barnier following the European Parliament’s call for action at EU level in November.

Secretary General of EGBA Sigrid Ligné said: “We welcome this first-ever meeting under the Commission’s aegis of Europe’s national gambling regulators and have high expectations of this process. We are calling for the introduction of EU-level rules to safeguard adequate protection for consumers and at the same time ensure fair and transparent licensing conditions for EU operators. With the European Court drawing ever-clearer ‘red lines’ for national regulation we have high hopes that rapid progress can and will be made through better cooperation and the development of common EU rules.

When the European Parliament adopted its Report on Online Gambling in the Internal Market in November 2011(1), Commissioner Barnier committed to take action through a Communication announced for mid-2012 and also confirmed that the Commission would ensure the compliance of national regimes with the EU Treaties(2) .

The lack of structured cooperation between national administrations has resulted in a patchwork of rules and costly duplications of requirements which so far have proved largely ineffective and detrimental to consumers, regulated operators and Member States.

On 27 February, the European Commission will for the first time have the opportunity to:

- Present its findings from the 260 contributions to the Green paper consultation on online gambling and 5 expert workshops conducted in 2011(3) ;

- Test national regulators’ appetite to cooperate and develop common EU rules

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(1): Report on Online Gambling in the Internal Market November 2011 http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2011-0492

(2):Full transcript of Michel Barnier’s statement

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+CRE+20111114+ITEM-020+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN   

(3): http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/services/gambling-workshops_en.htm

– END –


For more information, please contact:

Sigrid Ligné: +32 2 554 08 90, egba@egba.eu

About EGBA

The EGBA is an association of leading European gaming and betting operators Bet-at-home.com, BetClic, bwinparty, Digibet, Expekt, Interwetten, and Unibet. EGBA is a Brussels-based non-profit association. It promotes the right of private gaming and betting operators that are regulated and licensed in one Member State to a fair market access throughout the European Union. Online gaming and betting is a fast growing market, but will remain for the next decades a limited part of the overall European gaming market in which the traditional land based offer is expected to grow from € 71.9 Billion GGR in 2010 to € 79 Billion GGR in 2015, thus keeping the lion’s share with 85% of the market. Source: H2 Gambling Capital, September 2011. www.egba.eu 

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