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Online gambling: an intelligent European approach to better protect citizens. Damien Abad MEP

Date

16 Nov 2011

Sections

InfoSociety

By voting massively in favour of this report, MEPs have taken a strong position in favour of a controlled opening of the online gambling market. "While underlining that this decision remains in the hands of Member States, the European Parliament cites the French model as an example," said Damien Abad, EPP Group Spokesperson on the dossier, on Tuesday, welcoming the result.

"We are pleading for a national licensing model to be the rule if Member States decide to open up their markets to competition," Damien Abad explained.

"I emphasised issues related to sports integrity, to prevent fraud and match-fixing, problems that have increased exponentially since the emergence of online gambling in the early 2000s. You only need to look at what happened this summer with the Greek or Turkish football leagues to be aware of this problem," underlined Damien Abad.

"The European Parliament has subscribed to the setting-up of a betting rights system such as the one in France today. Such 'property rights' can be used to finance the fight against sports fraud, in particular match-fixing," Damien Abad insisted.

MEPs are calling also for stronger cooperation between national regulatory authorities. "A strong and independent regulatory authority in each Member State, with the necessary powers to punish infringement of laws and take measures against illegal operators, acting within and outside the territory of the European Union, is essential to better protecting citizens," Damien Abad underlined.

Note: The report on online gambling in the Single Market was adopted by a large majority of MEPs at the plenary session of the European Parliament on Tuesday 15 November. It aims to strengthen cooperation between national authorities in a sector which is cross-border by essence, and developing very fast. The report is the European Parliament's response to the European Commission's Green paper on online gambling in the internal market.

For further information:

Damien ABAD MEP, Tel: +33-3-88175882

Marion Jeanne, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-479-840293

UMP, New Centre and the Modern Left MEPs' Website

Notes to Editors:

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 264 Members.

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