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Regulated online gaming industry calls for full EU harmonisation

Date

14 Oct 2010

Sections

Sports

Brussels, 13 October 2010 – Europe will gain from harmonised EU rules governing the gaming sector. That’s the message delivered by Norbert Teufelberger, Co-CEO of bwin, to a packed audience today in the European Parliament at the 3rd “Responsible Gaming Day” (RGD).

Organised by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), the body representing the licensed EU industry, this year’s RGD - entitled “Responsible Gaming in a digital single market” - brought together over 150 delegates including senior EU and national officials, representatives from the public and private gaming sectors, academia and civil society to discuss the state of play in EU and national gaming regulation.

Norbert Teufelberger, Co-CEO of bwin and chairman of the EGBA, continued: “With almost 2/3 of EU member states already working on or at least considering a reform of their gaming markets, there is a unique momentum now to ensure that regulation delivers for consumers, the industry and Europe. Regulation must be harmonised so that consumers receive similar high protection regardless of where they play. Online gaming is a cross-border activity and consumer protection needs to be applied cross-border as well”.

Speaking on behalf of the European Commission, Jean Bergevin, head of unit at DG Internal Market, said: “The Commission is determined to proceed with an objective and factual basis consultation at the earliest by the end of the year in the form of a green paper which will collect the information necessary to determine the most efficient and coherent systems addressing recognized public interest objectives”.

Host of the event in the European Parliament, Timothy Kirkhope, MEP added: “This is a golden opportunity to begin to set in place a level playing field for a sector which is struggling with a patchwork of different rules. I have great faith in Commissioner Barnier that that he will take heed of our discussions today, and begin to work out a strategy to ensure that online gambling can become a legitimate part of the internal market.”

- END –

For further information or comment please contact:
Sigrid Ligné: +32 2 554 08 90
Sigrid.Ligne@egba.eu

About EGBA

The EGBA is an association of leading European gaming and betting operators Bet-at-home.com, BetClic, bwin, Digibet, Expekt, Interwetten, PartyGaming 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 € 70.5 Billion GGR in 2009 to € 76.5 Billion GGR in 2012, thus keeping the lion’s share with 86.2% of the market. Source: H2 Gambling Capital, January 2010.
www.egba.eu

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