EGBA Fires Back at EC


09/01/2011
By Debra SaundersGoogle

 

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) fired back at the European Commission’s Green Paper initiative.  The EC’s initiative was intended to cover all components of online gambling in the European market in order to reconsider methods of regulation.  In order to properly analyze the market, the EC requested that all bodies involved provide detailed reports answering a number of questions.  The EGBA, Europe’s major online gambling operator’s trade body, shot back a 105 page report with its response.

 

Sigrid Ligne, the secretary general of the EGBA, headed off the response stating that Europe is currently the world leader in online gambling.  If Europe wants to stay on top of the game, there has to be uniform regulation across the board in EU member countries.  The national-level chaos of individual regulations creates a costly, wasteful situation for casino operators.  Any unnecessary burdens on casino operators immediately translate to higher operational costs, higher consumer prices, and a movement of consumers from the regulated market to the black market.

 

While keeping a positive tone in relation to EC Commissioner Barnier, Ligne did not hold back criticism on the EC’s failure to upkeep EU treaties on economic issues related to online gambling.  He stated that EU members’ regulatory actions have been in total disregard to EU law, yet the EC has remained disturbingly silent.  The EGBA’s report implores the EC to take decisive action. 

 

Regarding the more specific treatment by the EGBA of the EC initiative questions, the EGBA stressed the importance of dealing with problem gambling, honest sports, and protecting minors.  The EGBA report also proved that online gambling does not effect “brick & mortar” casinos’ profits.  The report concludes noting the urgent need for Europe-wide measures for customer identification, prevention of fraud, licensing, consumer protection, and other important measures. 


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