European Parliament Casts Vote on Online Gambling

  • Published: September 11, 2013
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The European Parliament held a vote regarding online gambling regulation throughout the European Union. The European Commission adopted an action plan regarding online gambling a year ago, and the Parliament has now delivered a report that urges the people in charge to deliver what the original plan proposed. The latest report puts forward many proposals for Member States of the European Union to carry out with better leadership and visible action.

Many European countries are starting to re-regulate their online gambling markets. However, the fact that a new European Parliament and Commission is coming up in 2014, the current Parliament members thought it was important to clarify this case and to call all EU Member States to make action plans that are realistic and in compliance with the Commision's policies.

"Today's vote, which is the third report on gambling in the mandate of this European Parliament, highlights once more the growing interest of the EU to take action and responsibility in this area," said Maarten Haijer, secretary general of the EGBA. "While the report does not call for harmonisation of the sector yet, it supports new EU action in many areas such as customer e-verification and improved cross border cooperation. These initiatives are crucial to streamline identification procedures, simplify licensing procedures and remove unnecessary administrative burden for cross border operators.

The European Parliament did not decide on setting regional legislative procedures and licensing standards equal for all Member States, but they did urge the countries to clarify their expectations and policies so that online casino operators can strive to meet them. Among them are age verification, identification of customers, licensing processes, and different processes for off-shore operators.

"Last but not least, the vote confirms, in line with previous parliamentary reports, the political support from the European Parliament for the Commission to finally launch infringement procedures against those Member States that continue to breach EU law. This is the only way to ensure an attractive and competitive regulated offer, and prevent consumers from turning to more competitive but unregulated websites." Basically, the Parliament would like to minimize law infringement and wants to promote a healthy online gambling market in which players are not tempted to visit unregulated websites due to convenience, or due to them having simpler procedures.

We like that along with policies, the European Parliament is attempting to set a level of awareness in their citizens, so that they better understand what it means to play in a regulated market and how it can bring benefits at an individual and national level.