European Online Gambling Operators Want Firm Action From E.U.Parliament

Published Wednesday, October 03, 2012 -

Slowly but assuredly the European Union is coming to a grips with internet commerce and in particular online gambling within the member states. Calling the recent commission policy paper on gambling a ‘key test’ is putting the actions of the European Commission in a good light considering there are still many problems that need to be addressed regarding the harmonization and standardization of rules within the community.

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) Secretary General, Sigrid Ligné , while speaking in Brussels said, "We deplore the situation today where we see 27 'mini-markets' for gambling in Europe.” Adding, "We are calling for the introduction of European rules to ensure proper protection for consumers and maintain a crime-free environment throughout the EU, while affording open, fair and transparent licensing conditions for EU-regulated operators." The action plan on online gambling activities promised by the E.C. will be unveiled in the E.U. Parliament October 10th 2012.

Particularly sited as one of the most obvious violations of E.U. treaty laws is the recent German action against European online gambling operators which taxed the services unfairly. The EGBA says that the draft laws in Germany are 'incompatible with the EU treaty'. Ligné stated, "Together with other industry partners, EGBA has this week lodged an official complaint with the commission against the revised German gambling law. "We urge the commission to handle our complaint urgently as Germany is in the process of allocating licenses on the basis of a highly contentious tendering procedure which appears, on the basis of an accumulation of evidence, not to be designed to pursue the declared purpose of conducting an open, fair and transparent Europe-wide call for bids."

"Several member states have decided to move forward with legislation that is, at best, highly questionable under EU law. Some have even gone a step further. If the commission fails to provide a timetable for reactivating its dormant infringement procedures, and to take rapid action against new offenders, certain member states will continue to consider that they have 'carte blanche' to do as they please.“

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