Friday, 20 September 2013

Hazardous resolution

On 10th of September the European Parliament adopted a resolution "Online gambling in the internal market" calling upon the European Commission to better regulate online gambling in the EU. As we have mentioned before, online gambling is one of the fastest growing services in the EU. (see post: Easy money) Currently, online gambling' rules differ across the EU, since many European countries have different approaches to gambling in general due to morality issues and different ideas on what's needed to protect public order. It is not quite clear to me what measures the EP expects the Commission to take, since on one hand they argue for more harmonisation of online gambling in the internal market, but on the other they insist that Member States should be able to uphold aforementioned national barriers to market entry. What could be optimised, according to the MEPs, is a good exchange of information among the Member States that could contribute to the European list of banned operators (black list) or licensed operators (white list), European codes of conduct, uniform tax rates, and uniform recognition rules so that operators recognised in one Member States could conduct business in other Member States, as well (unless these specific, national market barriers would oppose that?). Another curious point is the call for a European ban of certain types of wagers that pursuant to the MEPs are more prone to lead to fixing risks in sports, e.g., live sports betting, wagers such as awarding yellow cards, throw-ins, corner kicks etc.

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