Chief of Bwin talks about regulatory harmonisation

Two thirds of EU states are now involved in the regulation of online gambling

Europe will gain from harmonised EU rules governing the gaming sector; that’s the message delivered by Norbert Teufelberger, co-CEO of the major Austrian internet gambling group Bwin, to a packed audience in the European Parliament at the third “Responsible Gaming Day” (RGD) this week.

Organised by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), the trade association representing the licensed EU industry, this year’s RGD - entitled “Responsible Gaming in a digital single market” - brought together over 150 delegates including senior EU and national officials, representatives from the public and private gaming sectors, academia and civil society to discuss the state of play in EU and national gaming regulation.

Teufelberger said: “With almost two thirds of EU member states already working on or at least considering a reform of their gaming markets, there is a unique momentum now to ensure that regulation delivers for consumers, the industry and Europe.

"Regulation must be harmonised so that consumers receive similar high protection regardless of where they play. Online gaming is a cross-border activity and consumer protection needs to be applied cross-border as well”.

Speaking on behalf of the European Commission, Jean Bergevin, head of unit at DG Internal Market, said: “The Commission is determined to proceed with an objective and factual based consultation at the earliest by the end of the year in the form of a green paper which will collect the information necessary to determine the most efficient and coherent systems addressing recognised public interest objectives”.

Host of the event in the European Parliament, Timothy Kirkhope, MEP added: “This is a golden opportunity to begin to set in place a level playing field for a sector which is struggling with a patchwork of different rules.

“I have great faith in Commissioner Barnier that he will take heed of our discussions today, and begin to work out a strategy to ensure that online gambling can become a legitimate part of the internal market.”

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