Posted 3/14/11 : March 23 is the new date for the start of a public consultation
The European Commission has confirmed that its chief Michel Barnier will not be releasing the much-anticipated Green Paper on Online Gambling on March 16 as planned, but that the presentation will be made on March 23rd.
In January this year Barnier released his draft policy document to officials and lobbyists in Brussels, including in the 48 pages a series of pertinent questions that the Commissioner feels must be asked and resolved concerning the regulation of internet gambling in Europe if it is to be transparent, efficient and uniform.
Various departments in the Commission were given until January 21st to comment and provide feedback on Barnier's proposals, before a public consultation on his proposals is launched. Both of these consultations are a critical part of the process that will lead to the eventual final drafting of the Green Paper.
Issues like fraud prevention and player protection, payment processing, marketing and operator integrity are all apparently covered, and have previously been the subject of much examination and debate.
The March 23rd presentation will hopefully see a document that incorporates the views of the Brussels bureaucracy and invites the perspectives of the public, trade associations and other interested parties, bringing the publication of the final Green Paper a little closer.
In the words of the EC: "The Commission will publish a Green Paper on online gambling services in the Internal Market. The aim 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."