Online gambling: eu operators publish Manifesto

Online gambling: eu operators publish Manifesto

commissione-europeaThe European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) today published a Manifesto for a sustainable EU policy for online gambling as a contribution to the European Commission Communication and action plan that is to be published this summer. In parallel, the Commission will shortly have its next meeting with national gambling regulators in order to explore areas for EU-level cooperation.

Secretary General of EGBA Sigrid Ligné said: “Our Manifesto is designed to be a timely input to the Commission as it prepares its EU action plan for online gambling.  We are calling for the introduction of European rules to ensure proper protection for consumers while affording fair and transparent licensing conditions for EU operators.”

The Manifesto declares that an effective EU framework to regulate and ensure responsible online gambling should be based on 5 priority actions:

The European Commission fulfilling its role as Guardian of the Treaty

Structured regulatory cooperation among national authorities

An EU legal framework for online gambling

Problem gambling prevention measures based on evidence

EU action to fight sport fraud

As evidence that pan-European online gambling rules for consumer protection can and do work, EGBA today also proudly announces that all of its members have been audited independently and found to be compliant with the Responsible Remote Gambling Measures that had been agreed in the context of the European Committee on Standardisation (CEN) in February 2011 and incorporated into the EGBA standards.

Background – The European Parliament adopted its Report on Online Gambling in the Internal Market in November 2011, calling for EU solutions for the sector and for the Commission to ensure that Member States comply with EU law. Commissioner Barnier announced a Communication and proposals for action and confirmed that the Commission would take its responsibilities in ensuring the compliance of national regimes with the EU Treaties.

On 27 February 2012, the Commission hosted a first meeting of national gambling regulators and officials in order to test their appetite to work together and to develop common EU rules. The outcome of these meetings is also expected to feed into the Communication.

The lack of structured communication and cooperation between EU Member States’ administrations has resulted in a patchwork of different national rules and regulations. This has not only resulted in a number of lengthy legal challenges, costly duplications of administrative requirements and a wide variety in the protection offered to European consumers, but many national regulations also fail to provide an attractive offer, leaving consumers to continue to play with unregulated websites on the black market.