Against the backdrop of the recent publication of the much-anticipated Green Paper on Online Gambling, this one day high-level conference gathered key policy makers, national regulators and stakeholders for a full and frank discussion on the best way forward to achieve a market for online gambling services that is appropriately regulated.
The conference also explored the ever-topical challenges facing the online and offline gambling industries including fraud and criminal activity, issues surrounding integrity, consumer protection, and problems and solutions surrounding the positive and negative social impacts of gambling.
MEP, Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection; Rapporteur for the Green Paper on Online Gambling
Deputy General Director. General Direction of Gambling
Spanish Ministry of Finance
MEP, Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection; Shadow-rapporteur for the Green Paper on Online Gambling
The gambling industry as a whole is fast becoming an integral part of pan-European culture due to its omnipresent nature and ease of accessibility. The overall Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) of the European Union accounted for approximately €82 billion in 2008; of this, the online GGR exceeded €6 billion and this is expected to double in size by 2013. Given the growing significance of this sector, it is no wonder that recent years have seen an intensification of debate at the European level regarding regulation of gambling.
Despite the economic significance and the growing cross border nature of the market, there is currently no EU legislation harmonising the gaming and betting sector across Europe, which has arguably resulted in a vast amount of jurisprudence from the European Courts. Nevertheless, this is now under review following the publication of the European Commission’s Green Paper on online gambling in the Internal Market on the 24th April.
The aim of the European Commission’s Green Paper is "to launch an extensive public consultation on all relevant public policy challenges and possible Internal Market issues resulting from the rapid development of both licit and unauthorised online gambling offers directed at citizens in the EU" in attempt to gather the views of all interested parties on a phenomenon that has multiple dimensions. In order to optimise legal clarity and effective consumer protection in this fast-growing cross-border market, it is imperative to determine whether differing national regulatory models can realistically co-exist within the Internal Market or whether now is the time to establish a harmonised EU-wide framework.
With this in mind, this event included panel sessions focusing on the following issues:
- The Green Paper on online gambling: Is Europe on the right track?
- Gambling, Good Causes and Sports Integrity – Are the current rules appropriate for the 21st Century?
- Has the right balance been reached between consumer choice and protection?
For further information on this or next year's event, please contact Charlene Selmer on +44 (0) 2920 783 024 or email email@example.com