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Online Gaming and Betting: Barnier to take the lead


12 Feb 2010



Brussels, 11 February 2010

EGBA welcomes the commitment made by the newly appointed Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier to address the situation of gaming and betting at EU level.

Addressing members of the European Parliament today, Commissioner Barnier confirmed that the analysis of the Commission Legal Service regarding the most recent European Court of Justice ruling (Santa Casa, C-42/09) does not change fundamentally the Commission’s approach towards infringement procedures. The Commissioner said that the Santa Casa ruling of 8 September 2009 was based on considerations specific to Portugal and to its national monopoly operator. The Commission will therefore continue to examine the compliance of national legislation with EU law on a case-by-case basis.

Sigrid Ligné, Secretary General of the EGBA, comments “With several Member States currently reforming their gaming and betting legislation, this is an important confirmation that the Commission will not stand by while Member States introduce restrictions that go against fundamental principles of the EU”. She adds “We believe that the respect of Internal Market rules in our sector will promote high standards and improve the protection of players throughout the EU”.

EGBA also strongly supports the Commissioner’s intention to engage in a broad consultation with stakeholders and to work on a political document, based on reliable figures and a clear diagnosis of the situation in Europe. The Commissioner raised the prospect of a Green Paper on gambling, a move which EGBA believes could offer a real opportunity to test the interest and support of the European Parliament and Member States for future EU harmonization in the sector.

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For further information or comment please contact: Sigrid Ligne: +32 (0) 2 2567530