European Union officials and gaming industry notables sat down together at the European Parliament this week with an eye toward defining the transborder online gaming market. To that end, Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier announced he would launch a ‘green paper’ that would hopefully prove a starting point for further discussions on prevention of fraud, protection of minors, the role of digital blocking at the ISP level, etc. (Forgive us for saying so, but isn’t this where we came in?)
Bwin boss Norbert Teufelberger put aside his PartyGaming merger glue-gun long enough to make a plea for seizing the momentum created by newly regulated markets in France and Italy to push for a harmonized regulatory structure that would encapsulate all the EU’s member nations.
While Barnier agreed that an online gaming operator licensed in one particular member state should be allowed to offer services to members in another state, that state can always opt out ‘for pressing reasons of public interest’. You might remember this broadly defined clause from your childhood years, when you’d ask your parents why something had to be a certain way, and they replied “Because I said so.”
Anyway, Barnier’s green paper will be available Nov. 9. Until then, Europe’s gamblers will have to content themselves with their ‘My MEP went to Responsible Gaming Day and all I got was this lousy T-shirt’ souvenir.