ICC: EC wants MoU on gambling regulator information exchange

ICC: EC wants MoU on gambling regulator information exchange

Monday, February 2, 2015 Totally Gaming

The European Commission is hoping to broker an agreement this year that would allow Europe’s gambling regulators to share information and enforcement rules.

Harrie Temmink, the EC’s Deputy Head of the Online and Postal Unit at DG Internal Market and Services, told delegates at the International Casino Conference (ICC) this (Monday) morning that he is hoping to make progress on a Memorandum of Understanding in 2015.

The proposed MoU, which would aim to enhance administrative co-operation and efficient enforcement of EU law, was one of a number of “action areas” outlined by Temmink.

“We would like to find an agreement between all regulators in Europe to exchange information about licence holders and enforcement measures, and we are going to try to do that this year,” Temmink told delegates at the Hippodrome Casino in London.

“In an ideal world we would force member states to do this, but EU law doesn’t allow us. However, this is a work-in-progress, and we are hoping that there will be developments with this MoU this year.

“Obviously there are areas that need to be clarified, such as determining the scope of exchange between regulators.”

Temmink also highlighted the EC’s broader ongoing responsibilities to ensure member states’ national regulatory frameworks comply with EU law; protect consumers and citizens; prevent fraud and money laundering; and safeguard the integrity of sports.

Having initiated legal action against Sweden in October, the EC is also likely to step up the enforcement of EU online gambling laws in a number of member states this year, according to Temmink, who added that 35 cases remain open against 16 countries.

“The situation in Sweden is that there are no rules, so it is totally unclear,” he added. “We know there is a monopoly with 50 per cent, but what about the other 50 per cent? God knows what is happening with it. For the European Commission, that is totally unacceptable.

“I expect that some cases [against other member states] will proceed in 2015. We are in dialogue with every member state and we do close some cases, like in Finland, but unfortunately with some I expect them to be taken to the next stage.

“Member states are in the process of reassessing their laws, but we have also been overwhelmed by the number of complaints from commercial operators against some member states.

“We want private operators to stop doing that as we are handling a tremendous number of cases. We have a lot of challenges for 2015.”

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