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EU Launches Online Gambling Study

1 April 2011 by admin

european_unionOn Monday, the European Commission, which is the executive body of the European Union, launched an investigation into the state of the online gambling industry. The consultation is aimed at addressing possible policy changes to affect all EU member states, which may include regulation changes and more.

The European Commission issued a statement say that that the aim of the Green Paper consultation was to obtain an accurate picture of the current online gambling situation in the European Union “and of the different national regulatory models.” The statement said that they are seeking “the news of stakeholders and wishes to collect detailed information and data on key policy issues such as organization of online gambling services and enforcement of applicable laws; consumer protection and other relevant public policy challenges as well as commercial communications and payment services.”

The results of this consultation will help the European Commission decide what steps to take to ensure “coherence of national systems” and cooperation with EU rules. As it is, several EU member states have passed online gambling laws that are in violation of EU rules. The European Commission has criticized and warned the nations, but most have basically ignored them.

The most common violations of EU rules are in the form of protectionism. Nations pass laws that favor online gambling businesses in their own country while putting other EU countries at a disadvantage. Protectionist regulations have come under fire from the European Council, who wants a level playing field for each EU member state.

Some believe that the best way to achieve that level playing field is to have the EU regulate the entire European industry. That would mean voiding all national online gambling laws and having the EU pass its own laws that govern each country and having the EU in charge of regulating and enforcing the laws. That is something the EU is considering and it is sure to be analyzed in the Green Paper.

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