The Article Is Written By EU Commissioner

18 October 2012 – By Linda Jefferson

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”Make Online Gambling Safe” is the name if the article recently published in The Times of Malta by an EU Commissioner. The article is viewed by online casino operators as the forerunner of the European Commission’s action report on online gambling. The author starts by pointing out that Europe has nearly seven million users and revenues expected to reach €13 billion by 2015. This means that Europe is the largest and most rapidly expanding global market for online gambling. 15,000 sites are available for online casino players through computers, mobile phones and TV’s. But users are exposed to fraud, money laundering and problem gambling as over 85% of these sites are unlicensed.

National governments in Europe face the same objectives of preventing fraud and protecting consumers. However, this fight is not very effective because of the borderless nature of the pursuit and also because of the lack of cooperation among national gambling regulators. Therefore, the EU Commissioner believes that a European framework for online gambling that includes a comprehensive set of actions and common principles of protection is essential.

The article also deals with details on consumer protection. Because 75% of EU citizens under the age of 17 use the Internet, children are viewed as the most vulnerable group. In order to resolve this problem, the EC will encourage the development of better age-verification tools, online content filters and more responsible advertising in this matter. Problem gamblers are the second group identified by the author of the article. The key, according to the Commissioner, is a better understanding of the underlying causes of problem gambling. The regulators have the responsibility to protect those citizens who suffer from gambling addiction and the EC has to find effective methods of treatment and cure.

When it comes to regular online gamblers, the EU Commissioner believes preventing fraud is a key objective and the cooperation between Member States would be of utmost importance. The action plan released by the European Commission includes cracking down on unregulated sites, developing legal alternatives that are attractive enough and taking measures to ensure a safe growth of the online casino gambling market.

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