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High Expectations For European Online Gambling Meeting

European Gaming and Betting Association Discusses What's Expected From European Commission's Upcoming Communication

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Ahead of the European Commission’s event on Jun. 27, which is set to discuss the regulation of online gambling as part of its Communication and Action Plan, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) (representing private online gambling operators in the European Union) has announced its hopes and expectations for the event.

Sigrid Ligné, Secretary General of EGBA, said, “European demand for online gambling services continues to grow. As with other areas of eCommerce, European consumers have been voting with a mouse-click. If there is no legal framework to permit popular products to come to market, consumers can be expected to turn to unlicensed and unregulated operators, with all the associated risks. Greater coordination between member states is therefore vital to ensure effective regulation and protection for consumers."

Ligné also said, "Without Commission action now, certain member states will continue to consider that they have “carte blanche” to do as they please.”

Administrative cooperation between member states is needed, as pointed out by the EGBA, in order to build mutual trust, as the fast emergence of 27 “mini-markets” for online gambling is only harming consumers and creating a potential black market.

Another point the Association has made is that there is currently no EU-level sectorial directive for gambling. In its view, consumers should be provided with a high level of protection throughout the EU, and licensed operators should have fair market access.

The Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier will speak publicly on the subject at the European Parliament for the first time since last November. The EGBA praised the Commissioner on his Green Paper consultation which helped to bring the EU policy debate on online gambling back to the fore.

It also gave props to the European Parliament’s Creutzmann report which looked at the need for an EU framework for online gambling and called to the Commission to combat protectionist regimes.