The European Commission Igaming Green Paper
On Thursday last week the European Commission (“EC”) kicked off their public consultation process into EU online gambling with the release of a Green Paper setting out the parameters of the process.
It’s a 36 pager titled “On-line gambling in the Internal Market“ that you can read in full here.
The paper invites responses to a series of questions (51 in all) related to various aspects of the online gambling in the EU. Responses are to be sent by email to email@example.com by 31 July 2011 so if you want to put your 2-cents worth in you better get cracking!
At the end of the process the EC are hoping to have (or at least be closer to having), “a full picture of the existing situation, to facilitate the exchange of best practices between Member States and to determine if the differing national regulatory models for gambling can continue to coexist and whether specific action may be needed in the EU for that purpose.”
I’d imagine after receiving so many different responses to their questions they are going to have a confusing and conflicting picture of the current state of play. But hopefully that’s the cynical rather than realistic view.
In any event once all responses have been digested the EC will report on what they believe to be the most appropriate follow-up actions.
The Green Paper did highlight some interesting facts on the current state of online gambling across Europe as the EC currently sees it.
- of 14,823 active gambling sites in Europe more than 85% operated without any license;
- online gambling comprises only 7.5% of overall gambling market, but is the fastest growing sector expected to double in size by 2013;
- The UK is by far the largest online gambling market including forms of internet gambling (and considering legal, “grey” and “black” market activities;
- the mobile betting channel is where the fastest growth is expected.
If you’re unhappy that you can’t access your favorite online casino brand, or unhappy that your fellow countryman can access any online casino, here’s your chance to have your opinions heard by the big-wigs in Brussels.