European Commission dismisses its continental regulation

The issue was discussed at ICE Totally Gaming 2016 in ExCel, London.

Belgium.- Online gaming industry won’t see a pan-European bill that governs the sector in all countries. The European Commission –EC- decided that each state regulates its legislation according to its laws and citizens’ demands, in spite of 2011’s proposal by Michel Barnier, Internal Market and Services Commissioner of EC.

“I can assure you that if we proposed legislation on gambling, in the first meeting with the Council, we would have 26 out of 28 member states that would be fiercely opposed to the proposal. It would be suicide,” expressed Harrie Temmink, Deputy Head of Unit and Chief of Expert Group on Gambling Services at EC. Although it won’t be seen the green light for now, anything can change when it comes to modernization and globalization of the online gambling.

The first attempt to achieve this bill, by Barnier, was looking for the protection of customers, but the EC decided to not move forward with it once Spain, Italy and France regulated their own markets even though all European online gaming industry is interconnected. Besides, the EC didn’t feel comfortable with these three countries’ delimitation of their markets when the European Union is trying to soften all members’ borders.

Whilst every day more European countries reveal new gaming legislation, an agreement between all of them seems more distant. “Operators need to have a license for the specific country in which they offer games, without being able to count on the recognition of licenses between one European country and another,” concluded Temmink.