European Commission Reviews Gambling Regulation Laws
Malta’s online gambling industry has found itself at the heart of fresh debates concerning gaming regulation in the EU. Malta, which joined the European body in 2004, has been responsible for establishing a safe gambling climate since its entry and currently boasts a total of 405 licensed operators within its borders. The country’s ‘open market’ approach – once widely praised for safeguarding freedoms – could now be under threat as the European Commission reviews existing legislation concerning the online sector. Many are fearful that the review could pave the way for a common European standard which could compromise the interests of individual member states.
The European Commission report arrives after months of controversy surrounding the terms of the EU treaty. Critics have suggested that the body has failed to offer clear guidelines to operators with seemingly inconsistent European Court of Justice rulings giving rise to confusion across the board.
The European Commission has responded to complaints with the launch of the Green Paper – a consultation process which will decide whether the EU will draft further online gambling legislation. The European Parliament’s Internal Market Committee is currently drafting a report on the issue whilst Mata’s MEPs are being called upon to express their views.
It seems that a common European approach to regulation is firmly on the cards as experts and ministers gather to decide the fate of the market in the months ahead. Industry members will no doubt be monitoring the forthcoming developments with very keen interest indeed as politicians shape the future of one of the most important and powerful sectors in the continent.