Malta Objects to Definition of 'Illegal Gambling'

Published Thursday, June 03, 2010 -

The only European Union member state to object to an the Spanish EU presidency initiative to frame a common definition for “illegal gambling” was Malta. Even though Malta voiced some opposition, the E.U. competition ministers still agreed on a common position, for a European collaboration on the issue and preparing the ground for a legal framework on internet gambling within the European Union.

Illegal gambling has been defined as “gambling in which operators do not comply with the national law of the country where services are offered, provided those national laws are in compliance with E.U. treaty principles.”

The Maltese position was made it clear that it believes the Spanish progress report represents a relatively well-balanced view of the current gaming situation in the E.U. Malta stated that it could not agree to the definition of 'illegal gambling' as proposed as this will apply the concept of illegality to operators who may have been licensed by one of the member states and not by another.

“For this reason, Malta considers that the suggested definition does not factually reflect current circumstances and recent developments,” a spokesperson commented. Malta announced, to the Competitiveness Council meeting, “it has one of the most advanced regulatory regimes and this is in full compliance with E.U. legislation.”

“The checks and controls exercised by Malta ensure the integrity of the operations conducted in or from Malta. Hence, while defining illegal gambling due consideration must also be given to such advanced regulatory regimes,”

Michel Barnier, the recently appointed, European Internal Market Commissioner, confirmed earlier this year that, the E.U. executive would seek a more coherent way to address the issue of cross border gaming in the Union. Barnier will launch a public consultation on the issue with a Green Paper coming soon that will hopefully provide some specific proposals to address the 'illegal gambling' debate. The latest European Court of Justice ruling in the Netherlands has had some operators in licensed E.U. jurisdictions concerned that the E.U. principles on free movement of services are being eroded supporting government run gambling monopolies.




Related news

Return to Latest News