EurActiv.com Correspondent's Choice

This story about EU gambling rules was published by EurActiv on 12th February 2010.

After years of ad-hoc rulings by the European Court of Justice to regulate gambling in Europe, Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier announced yesterday (11 February) that the EU executive would seek a more coherent way to address the issue.

The European Commission “does not exclude” alternative solutions to individual infringement procedures against member states on gambling, Barnier said during a European Parliament plenary debate in Strasbourg, revealing the approach he will take on the topic during his term.

The debate was prompted by an oral question from UK Conservative MEP Malcolm Harbour (ECR), chairman of the internal market committee, who asked the Commission to clarify its position on online gambling following recent conflicting rulings at the European Court of Justice.

One ruling said that governments can restrict online gaming in their country, while another suggested that national restrictions which do not comply with EU law are not possible.

There are currently nine Commission infringement procedures in the area of cross-border betting on sports events online, Barnier said, adding that the EU executive would suggest changing national legislation to ensure compliance with EU rules.

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