|On Friday 16th January, iGGBA visited Brussels to meet with a high level delegation from the European Commission to discuss the recent developments in the eCommerce Directive and the newly released Services Directive. Both items take a detailed look into the remote gambling market and its current exemption from EU law. |
“Part of iGGBA’s mission is to represent the industry before the EU and we came away from the meetings with the knowledge that EU officials are intent upon investigating the recent set of complaints about countries taking action against the cross border provision of remote gambling services”, stated Andrew Tottenham, Chairman of iGGBA.
In recent months, and following the decision on the Gambelli and Lindh cases, there have been a number of complaints filed by remote gambling service operators about excessive regulation at the Member State level thwarting the provision of such services across the EU. In parallel the Commission has introduced a Services Directive which aims to strengthen the cross border provision of services by making it incumbent upon the Member State to defend restrictions on cross border services.
However, the Commission in the Directive has decided to place the issue of online gambling outside of the Directive, but the Directive asks for specific rules for this sector by 2010. The review of the complaints under the eCommerce Directive will lead to an investigation of the online gambling sector with a view as to whether there needs to be a piece of legislation for this sector which harmonises Member State views. This legislation will not be about simply the freedom to provide services, but harmonising regulation covering online gambling.
“The Internal Market is based on the freedom to provide services. The exemption for remote gambling stands in the face of this basic EU principle. The Commission has agreed to set up a regular set of meetings with iGGBA to liaise with the industry on this critical point”, stated Mr. Tottenham.
For further information, contact the iGGBA Secretariat:
+44 (0)20 7620 2770