Author: Anton Johan
Love it or hate it, online gambling is here to stay. Growth of the popular
online activity is around 15 percent each year in the European Union (EU), which
means that by 2015, the European online gambling industry could well
generate as much as €13 billion in revenues, which is nothing to scoff at.
But with the online gaming industry growing as fast as it is - helped along
greatly by the constant advent of new and improved computer, mobile and smart
technology - it is very important to ensure that the industry is operated
fairly, honestly and responsibility for the benefit of players and operators
Which is why this week the European Commission (EC) unveiled a new EU online
gambling plan of action which is designed to clarify online gambling regulation
in the EU and encourage a new level of cooperation between the various EU member
states over the next two years.
Almost 7 Million Europeans Gamble Online
Currently almost 7 million people in Europe currently partake in some form of
online gambling. And while most sign up at licensed and regulated and thus
reputable online casinos, poker rooms, sportsbooks, bingo casinos and lottery
sites, the reality is that there are still many online gaming sites that are
unregulated and thus potentially untrustworthy - some even capable of
perpetrating fraud and money laundering.
It is for this reason that the EC has unveiled its new European online gambling
action plan, with a view to help make the industry safer and more accessible to
all. And although the EU already has a comprehensive set of 'online gaming rules
and regulations' in place, the plan is designed to help tackle and solve the
many technical, societal and regulatory issues that still exist across Europe
In this regard, EC Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier
issued a statement this week indicating that it is the goal of the Commission to
help protect players by preventing fraud and money laundering at online gaming
sites, and to safeguard the integrity of sports by weeding out match-fixing
related to online betting.
EC Encourages Exchanges Between EU States
To achieve this, the EC will form an expert group to encourage regular exchanges
between EU member States with regards to online gambling regulation. Although
members of the EU have some leeway when setting the objectives of their
respective online gambling policies, it is in the interests of the EC that each
complies with overall EU laws pertaining to online gambling.
And the objective of this is plain to see - to initiate the development of a
safer, better regulated online gambling sector throughout the European Union,
with the ultimate goal of discouraging and protecting online gambling fans from
frequenting unregulated and unscrupulous websites.
Another key component of the EU online gambling plan is to up the levels of
protection concerning groups described as 'vulnerable,' such as those underage.
In this regard, the aim is to facilitate the improvement of online content
filters and age-verification tools, as well as to introduce far more responsible
advertising and parent awareness advertising and marketing campaigns.
Aim is for a Safer Online Gambling Industry
If this plan is put into action and proves successful, the hope is that a safer,
more secure and more trustworthy European online gambling industry will result,
which will benefit all involved. United States, take note.
Posted by Anton Johan at 13:20 on 24 October 2012