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European Lotteries calls on EC to carry on fight against illegal operators

3rd June 2013 10:01 am GMT

The European Lotteries (EL), the umbrella organisation for national lotteries in Europe, has urged the European Commission to include a number of measures such as payment blocking mechanisms and blacklists to fight illegal operators in its forthcoming recommendations on consumer protection and advertising.

This follows the adoption of the report on online gambling by the European Parliament committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) last week.

The EL welcomed the adoption of the report, which it claimed showed that the European Parliament was taking a “clear stance” on protecting European consumers against illegal operators and keeping member states “in the driver seat.”

While the final text of the resolution has yet to be made public, the EL said that the IMCO committee had “clearly endorsed” the approach of the European Commission’s action plan to not propose a sectoral harmonisation directive for online gambling.

“We commend the European Parliament for its clear position on the need for Member States to remain in the driver seat, a position which runs through the entire text of the report,” said EL president Friedrich Stickler. “We welcome the European Parliament’s insistence on law enforcement at the national level and cooperation between the Member States, in particular its demand that online gambling companies violating the laws of one Member State should lose their licence in other Member States.”

Accordingly, the EL has urged the European Commission to include these points in its forthcoming recommendations on consumer protection and advertising.

The European Parliament also expressed support for the strict regulation or prohibition of dangerous forms of gambling, which will be defined through an in-depth evaluation at the national level.

“The association welcomes the clear position that gambling is an economic activity of special nature and the insistence of the European Parliament on the application of the principle of subsidiarity,” said the EL in a statement. “The European Parliament very clearly underlines the right of Member States to set their own gambling policy according to their own values and enforce it effectively.”

The vote in the lead committee follows the adoption of opinions by the committee on Legal Affairs and the Culture and Education committee.

The European Parliament’s vote in plenary is scheduled for the week of July 1st.

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