In a recent communication entitled Towards a comprehensive European framework for online gambling, The European Commission has announced that they will be embarking upon a process of setting out a series of basic principals based around the concepts of player protection within the European online gambling market. This is in reaction to recognising the continuing fast-paced growth of the online gambling market within the European Union.
This announcement follows on from the Green Paper consultation on online gambling in the Internal Market of 2011 (which we made mention of last year) and will begin in December of this year with a group meeting of Member States. Since 2008 there have been infringement proceedings open against a number of EU Member States who have been seen as acting against the EU Treaties that pertain to freedom of movement of goods and services – fundamental principals of the European Union. The communication document issued by the Commission is quite unambiguous when it states:
The Court of Justice of he European Union has confirmed that the provision and use of cross-border gambling offers is an economic activity that falls within the scope of he fundamental freedoms of the [Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union].
The document also provides a series of recommendations to member states, including the local provisioning of gambling regulatory authorities. The communication also commits the EU Commission to accelerate pending infringement cases and take enforcement action wherever necessary, and to explore the possibility of introducing an EU standard on gambling equipment certification.
This is a positive step forwards with the outlook that these measures should provide EU-wide recognition and seal of approval for quality and security in the online gambling marketplace. A solid benefit to players and operators alike.