Malta opposing a common definition of online gambling

6/23/10 – Tonio Fenech, Malta’s minister of finance has explained why the island government has been creating EU waves by opposing a common definition of “online gambling”, which has caused delays and some disruption of attempts to agree on what constitutes internet gambling throughout the trade bloc.
The Times of Malta reports that Fenech was pressed by Labour MP Alfred Sant on Malta's stand, and replied that government saw “ulterior motives” in the proposed definition. Fenech said that government had viewed it as an attempt by some member states to protect their gaming monopolies, but that Malta had seen through the ‘ulterior motives’.
Fenech said some other EU countries wanted to retain state monopolies on legal gambling and had concocted definitions to this end.
The European Court of Justice had recently allowed some national restrictions because of money laundering and other illegal activities, but Malta's laws already took care of this, he added.
Asked whether Malta's objection to the definition could be an obstruction to legal gambling, Fenech said the two issues were unrelated.