by Renee Israel
The European Parliament has voted and agreed on a resolution for online
gambling that has been praised by the Remote Gambling Association (RGA). The
resolution comes after the European Commission's Online Gambling Green Paper was
released this year.
The resolution presents some refreshing aspects for licensed European online
gambling private sectors. It has indicated a noticeable alteration in
understanding and support for this sector. Specifically, the resolution is
pushing the European Commission to guarantee compliance with EU laws and to
target and bring proceedings against Member States that do not allow uninhibited
access to their online gambling markets.
Clive Hawkswood, chief executive of the RGA commented, "The European
Parliament's resolution demonstrates a marked change in approach. It now wants
to regulate rather than prohibit; and it is pressing the Commission to act
against Member States which unjustifiably restrict access to their gambling
"The resolution is clear, reminding the Commission 'of its duty to act
swiftly upon receipt of complaints about violations of the freedoms enshrined in
the Treaties.' The licensed private remote gambling sector is in full support of
those remarks," he said.
Hawkswood also discussed the work that the private European online gambling
sector has been doing to ensure European-wide standards, specifically through
the European Committee for Standardisation's Responsible Remote Gambling
"The Parliament's resolution insists that licensing procedures must be
transparent and non-discriminatory, and avoid unnecessary duplication of
requirements and controls carried out in Member States. There is no evidence
that introducing a well-regulated licensing regime with multiple operators
presents any more concerns than a monopoly. It is clear that member states are
increasingly coming to that conclusion," continued Hawkswood.
RGA Pushes for EU Online Gambling Law Enforcement
While a number of jurisdictions, such as Denmark, Spain and Greece are moving
towards licensing and regulations, there are still a number of politicians who
are looking to restrict access to markets, oppose competition and constrain
choice for EU customers.
"There has been a welcome advance in understanding of the licensed remote
gambling sector by many MEPs and recognition of the important economic role it
plays in stimulating growth and innovation. Fundamentally, however, we should
remember that this is a non-legislative process.
"The next steps in relation to the Parliament's resolution and the
Commission's deliberations regarding its Green Paper exercise are unclear. In
the meantime, we will continue to work with receptive and forward thinking
Member States and to press the Commission to enforce EU law," concluded