BRUSSELS -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- The European Parliament adopted with an overwhelming majority its report on online gambling, calling for the EU to take greater leadership and action.
The report, led by British Conservative MEP Ashley Fox, puts forward a wide range of proposals for the EU and Member States to take forward in view of the upcoming new European Parliament and Commission in 2014.
"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.
"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."
The European Parliament report comes a year after the adoption of the European Commission action plan on online gambling and puts the spotlight on Commissioner Barnier to deliver on his promises to take action on non compliant EU member states. Right at the time when most member states are re-regulating their markets, the risk of no action would not only undermine the work of the European Commission, but create further legal uncertainty for European licensed operators.
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