02/22/2012 : EUROPEAN REGULATORS TO TRY FOR HARMONISED LAWS
 
European Commission acts on ‘to do' list from European Parliament
 
Europe's diverse range of national online gambling regulators and experts are to come together for the first time under the auspices of the European Commission on February 27.
 
The European Commission will present its findings from the 260 contributions to the Green paper consultation on online gambling and 5 expert workshops conducted in 2011, and test national regulators’ appetite to cooperate and develop common EU rules in the first in a series of workshops that will deal with:
 
*     Sports Integrity
*     Detection and prevention of problem gambling
*     Systems of revenue distribution
*     Prevention of fraud and money laundering
*     National enforcement and administrative cooperation
 
The Commission's head, Michel Barnier, has initiated the meetings as part of a drive to comply with European Parliament directives attempting to harmonise regulations and ensure that laws comply with EU treaty obligations and laws.
 
The lack of structured cooperation between European national administrations has resulted in a patchwork of rules and costly duplications of requirements which so far have proved largely ineffective and detrimental to consumers, regulated operators and Member States involved, observers have noted.
 
Welcoming the EC initiative, the secretary general of trade body the European Gaming and Betting Association, Sigrid Ligné, said this week: "We have high expectations of this process. We are calling for the introduction of EU-level rules to safeguard adequate protection for consumers and at the same time ensure fair and transparent licensing conditions for EU operators.
 
"With the European Court drawing ever-clearer ‘red lines’ for national regulation we have high hopes that rapid progress can and will be made through better cooperation and the development of common EU rules.”