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Report on online gambling in the internal market (2012:2322(ini)) committee on the internal market and consumer protection


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DRAFT REPORT on online gambling in the internal market...
...Recommends the introduction of uniform and pan-European common standards for
electronic identification and cross border e-verification services; notes that the different registration procedures across the EU undermine regulated operators, and can push consumers into the hands of illegal operators; calls, therefore, for registration and identification procedures to be streamlined and made more efficient;

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Report on online gambling in the internal market (2012:2322(ini)) committee on the internal market and consumer protection

  1. 1. PR928245EN.doc PE506.088v01-00EN United in diversity ENEUROPEAN PARLIAMENT 2009 - 2014Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection2012/2322(INI)27.2.2013DRAFT REPORTon online gambling in the internal market(2012/2322(INI))Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer ProtectionRapporteur: Ashley Fox
  2. 2. PE506.088v01-00 2/5 PR928245EN.docENPR_INICONTENTSPageMOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION............................................ 3
  3. 3. PR928245EN.doc 3/5 PE506.088v01-00ENMOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTIONon online gambling in the internal market(2012/2322(INI))The European Parliament,– having regard to the Commission Communication of 23 October 2012 entitled ‘Towards acomprehensive European framework for online gambling’(COM(2012)0345),– having regard to Articles 51, 52 and 56 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EuropeanUnion (TFEU),– having regard to the Protocol on the application of the principles of subsidiarity andproportionality annexed to the TFEU,– having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,– having regard to the report of the Committee on the Internal Market and ConsumerProtection and the opinions of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, theCommittee on Culture and Education and the Committee on LegalAffairs(A7-0000/2013),A. whereas, in the absence of harmonisation and with due regard to the principle ofsubsidiarity, the Member States maintain a margin of discretion to regulate onlinegambling in accordance with their own values and pursued objectives of general interest;B. whereas currently the supply of online gambling services is not subject to sector-specificregulation at European Union level, remaining – nevertheless – subject to a number of EUsecondary legislative acts;C. whereas the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has confirmed that theprovision of games of chance or gambling is an economic activity, which consequentlyfalls within the scope of fundamental freedoms of the TFEU, notably the free movementof services, and any restrictions imposed thereto need to comply with those provided forby the TFEU, notably under Articles 51 and 52;D. whereas the risks involved in terms of consumer protection, fraud prevention and lawenforcement against illegal activities, such as money laundering and match fixing, requirecoordinated action at EU level;E. whereas it is essential to introduce mechanisms for scrutinising sports competitions andfinancial flows, along with common supervisory mechanisms at the EU level;F. whereas a comprehensive overview of the online gambling market, in terms ofinformation and data regarding domestic and cross-border, intra-EU and global,authorised and unauthorised offer, is currently missing;
  4. 4. PE506.088v01-00 4/5 PR928245EN.docENCompliance with EU law1. Recognises that the Member States have the right to determine how the offer of onlinegambling services is to be organised and regulated at the national level, while observingthe basic EU Treaty principles;2. Welcomes the Commission’s priority to make substantial progress on the infringementcases and complaints brought against a number of Member States, some of which havebeen dormant since the beginning of 2007;3. Calls on the Commission to continue to carry out effective checks on compliance with EUlaw of national laws and practices, and to take legal action against gambling monopoliesthat do not reduce gambling opportunities or limit promotional activities for gambling in aconsistent manner, in line with CJEU case-law4. Notes the risks associated with a general prohibition of online gambling services and withexcessive restrictions for consumers; calls on the Commission and the Member States toweigh, as part of the work of the group of experts on gambling services, the social costs ofpermitting regulated gambling activities against the harmful effects of consumersresorting to illicit markets;5. Emphasises that Member States that open up their online gambling market must providefor a transparent procedure based on objective and non-discriminatory criteria, in fullcompliance with EU law;Administrative cooperation6. Calls on the expert group on gambling services and on the Commission to facilitate, asmuch as possible, the flow of data between regulators in the Member States in order toallow for the establishment of a common system for identifying players and to make self-exclusion mechanisms applicable throughout the EU;7. Encourages the Member States, in the context of the expert group, to work in closecooperation with the Commission and with each other to implement the action plan of theCommunication on online gambling;8. Stresses the importance for the expert group to work towards removing unnecessaryadministrative burdens that prevent legal online operators from offering their services toconsumers;9. Believes that national regulators should be able to agree on equivalence clauses that wouldfacilitate the application of national licenses, including agreement on technical standardsfor gaming equipment;Consumer protection10. Agrees with the Commission that a fair offer of gambling services is necessary forconsumer protection, because in its absence consumers are more likely to turn tounreliable gambling websites;
  5. 5. PR928245EN.doc 5/5 PE506.088v01-00EN11. Calls on the Commission to continue to explore measures at the EU level to protectvulnerable consumers, including formalised cooperation between regulators, and theintroduction of an online trustmark for legal operators;12. Believes that the unquantifiable scope of compulsive gambling points to the need foradditional research and data, and therefore calls on all Member States to carry out furtherstudies to understand problem gambling;13. Calls on the Commission to consider legislation to create an EU-wide self-exclusionregister, accessible by national authorities and licensed gambling operators, so that anycustomer who chooses to exclude him- or herself from one gambling operator has theopportunity to be automatically self-excluded from all other licensed gambling operators;14. Notes that the workshop agreement published in February 2011 by the EuropeanCommittee for Standardisation (CEN)1could serve as a basis for identifying the content ofcommon standards;15. Takes the view that common standards for online gambling should address the rights andobligations of both the service provider and the consumer, including by means ofmeasures to ensure a high level of protection for players, particularly minors and othervulnerable persons, and the prevention of misleading advertisements;16. Recommends the introduction of uniform and pan-European common standards forelectronic identification and cross border e-verification services; notes that the differentregistration procedures across the EU undermine regulated operators, and can pushconsumers into the hands of illegal operators; calls, therefore, for registration andidentification procedures to be streamlined and made more efficient;Money laundering17. Stresses the fact that online gambling is a non-cash-based environment and that – giventhe dependency on third-party financial service providers – additional safeguards againstmoney laundering can be found in the EU’s regulatory framework for establishing andlicensing financial service providers;Integrity of sports18. Stresses that the fight against match fixing requires more effective cooperation betweenpublic authorities, law enforcement agencies, the sport industry, gambling operators andgambling regulators, in view of the transnational nature of match fixing;19. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, andto the governments and parliaments of the Member States.1CWA 16259:2011.