REPORT ON EU GAMBLING STUDY: THE CASE FOR CHANGE!

09 November 2006

Newspaper

EU BUSINESS

The European Betting Association and the Remote Gambling Association welcome the final publication by the European Commission on 12th October 2006 of the Study of Gambling Services in the Internal Market of the European Union commissioned in November 2004 to the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law.

This Study sheds significant light on the gambling market of the EU. It reveals its fragmented nature, the inconsistency of the monopoly restrictions with the EU Treaty and the growth potential of this industry whether in the EU or overseas.

Expansion in the EU provides the opportunity for regulations and supervision of all EU operators, high product quality assurance, increased tax returns and consumer protection. On the other hand, if the industry is driven out of the EU, it may lead to the offer of dubious gambling products in an uncontrolled manner by operators who are outside the scope of EU regulation. This is an outcome that the members of EBA and RGA wish to avoid.

The Study also outlines in the most authoritative manner the current legal chaos prevailing in various EU Member States with legal restrictions and state monopolies, which often do not adhere to the criteria established by the settled ECJ case law. Moreover, in many cases Member States do not provide data or statistics justifying the restrictions in place or proving their proportionality.

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