Friday July 6,2012 : EC CHIEF REITERATES WARNING TO GAMBLING NATIONS (Update)
Barnier says that compliance with EU laws is essential
Michel Barnier, the head of the European Commission which enforces EU laws, reiterated his warning to European gambling regulators that action will be taken, including court proceedings, for non-compliance with European Union laws.
Barnier made similar statements recently whilst addressing the European parliament .
The Gibraltar Chronicle reports that Barnier was addressing a meeting on The Rock, in which he outlined his Commission’s plans on internet gambling regulation, and threatened that persistent non-compliance regarding EU online policies and rules in the sector could result in his Commission initiating court actions.
Barnier said regulators will work with the industry to formulate a framework that protected consumers while permitting responsible legal gambling. But he said that EU rules must be adhered to and that several countries – he did not name them – would be cautioned about activities in their national jurisdictions.
“I will ask my department to contact all the Member States concerned by ongoing cases or complaints in order to remind them of the applicable rules and suggest that any problematic situations are rectified in line with current case law,” he told the meeting.
“If blatant infringements persist, I will not hesitate to propose to my colleagues that the appropriate proceedings be taken or relaunched.”
Barnier confirmed that the Commission would table an ‘action plan’ in the autumn designed to “effectively” regulate and supervise online betting and gambling.
A consultation process on the issue with relevant stakeholders had attracted 250 responses and proved a “great success”, he said.
The EC chief said that his aim was to protect consumers wherever they lived in the EU, and he stressed that no member state of the Union could “deal alone with all the risks associated with this activity.”