New Commission's action plan for online gambling

The European Commission presented an action plan that includes a series of initiatives over the next two years aimed at clarifying the regulation of online gambling and encouraging cooperation between Member States.

A new action plan for online gambling was proposed by the European Commission. According to this European institution, it is not an EU-wide legislation on online gambling. It is proposing a comprehensive set of actions and common principles on protection. While Member States are in principle free to set the objectives of their policies on online gambling, ensuring compliance of national law with the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) is a prerequisite of a successful EU policy on online gambling.

The plan includes children and other vulnerable groups protection. The Commission is encouraging the development of better age-verification tools and online content filters. It is also pushing for more responsible advertising and increased parental awareness of the dangers associated with gambling. Another important objective is to prevent and deter fraud and money-laundering through online gambling. Due to the cross-border nature, individual Member States cannot effectively apply anti-fraud mechanisms. An approach that brings together the EU, Member States and industry is necessary to tackle the problem from all angles.

Online gambling is one of the fastest growing service activities in the EU, with annual growth rates of almost 15% and an estimated €13 billion in annual revenues in 2015. It continues to develop alongside the fast-paced progress of online technology. Online gambling services cover a range of games of chance such as sports betting and poker, casino and lotteries, with 6.8 million consumers participating in one or more types of online gambling.