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EUROMAT represents the gaming and amusement industry to increase the overall competitiveness of the sector through engagement in policy and regulation formation at EU level.

Read more about Euromat

EUROMAT launches its Responsible Gambling publication in the European Parliament on 4 November 2009.

Click here for a copy of the publication
Click here for examples of R.G. activities Click here for the press release


EUROMAT launches a book on "The Future of Gaming and Amusement in Europe" in the European Parliament on 28 November 2006

Click here for a copy of the book
Press release available here

» EUROMAT Country Reports 2012
» EUROMAT Country Reports 2011

 
MAY 2014
 

Danish court case - 1st hearing

On 30 April, a first hearing in the appeal of Dansk Automat Brancheforening (DAB) against the European Commission's decision which authorizes the implementation of different taxation regimes for online gambling providers and land-based services. According to the taxation regime, online gambling providers would be subject to a tax of 20% of their revenues, whilst land-based services are taxed between 40% and 75% of their revenues. A final judgment is expected in August/September 2014.

Link to case-law of the CJEU


Sports betting report 

The European Commission also published a report analyzing the rights of sports organizers in the context of betting. The study was designed to map out the rights of sports organizers, in particular in relation to sports betting operators and assess the merits of a betting right. The report highlights that no other Member State has properly implemented legislation, similar to the existing legislation in France. Instead, most jurisdictions have ‘opted for alternative mechanisms to collect and allocate revenue derived from gambling to sport'. The report also shows that sports organizers already have sufficient legal protection and that the creation of a French style sports betting right at EU level would not be justified.

Link to the Final Report (bottom of the page)


Answer from Commissioner Barnier to MEP Muscardini's question regarding baby apps

Furthermore, the Commissioner has replied to the questions of Italian MEP Cristiana Muscardini (ECR) about gambling apps for children and compulsive gambling. Commissioner Barnier stated that the Commission is aware of the availability of children's' games through mobile applications, but also that it currently does not have any comprehensive research data that would identify a link between these games and drawing children into the habit of gambling. The Commissioner shared the concerns raised and recognized the importance to take protective measures against potentially harmful content, including education and awareness.

Link to Question 1 from MEP Muscardini and Answer from Barnier

Link to Question 2 from MEP Muscardini and Answer from Barnier



Answer from Commissioner Barnier to MEP Silvestris' question regarding money-lending and compulsive gambling

Commissioner Barnier has responded to the question of MEP Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris regarding the link between money-lending and compulsive gambling disorder. MEP Silvestris asked the Commissioner to clarify whether the Commission has any data that identifies a clear link between money-lending and compulsive gambling disorder, and whether this problem is prevalent in other EU Member States as well. Commissioner Barnier replied that the Commission does not have data that would identify this link. Although comparable data on gambling is limited at the moment, the Commission recognizes that data on this link would be useful. Furthermore, the Commissioner referred to its work on a recommendation about consumer protection and that despite the recommendation regarding online gambling, it might as well be relevant for offline gambling services. 

Link to Question from MEP Silvestre and Answer from Barnier


Question by MEP Cristiana Muscardini on compulsive gambling

Italian MEP Cristiana Muscardini (ECR) has submitted a question to the European Commission regarding compulsive gambling, games of chance and taxation. She calls the attention to compulsive gambling as a scientifically recognized pathology. MEP Muscardindi notes that the Commission has not yet been able to clarify whether gambling does or does not fall within its prerogatives, given that gambling profits go to private companies or State monopolies. Therefore, the MEP wants to know if the Commission is able to identify which aspects of gambling legislation fall within EU jurisdiction, and if it would consider Member States increasing taxation on gambling to create a disincentive - applying the income generated through this tax to discourage compulsive gambling. Moreover, she wants to know if the Commission intends to formulate regulations, such as the introduction in the Lombardy Region, to ensure that slot machines and outlets where gambling is practiced are kept remote from sensitive areas?

Link to MEP Cristiana Muscardini's question


Question from MEP Kriton Arsenis about operating license grantsfor casinos

Italian MEP Kriton Arsenis (S&D) has asked the European Commission about operating license grants for casinos in Helliniko, which he believes might be construed as illegal state aid. The question refers to the privatisation of the former airports in Helliniko and Agios Kosmas. Lambada Development stated that the completion of the agreement with the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, depends on an operating licence being granted by the Greek State for a land-based casino that would belong to the Development agency. MEP Arsenis wants to know whether the Commission would say that this licence granted to Lambada Development constitutes as unlawful state aid, and asks the Commission if the Greek State is infringing upon European legislation governing public contracts. This given that the notice concerns a specific plot that will belong to a private entity as opposed to an area of the country, and therefore indirectly limits the number of bidders in the tender.

Link to MEP Kriton Arsenis' question


European Council - 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive

Discussions about the 4th AMLD have been taking place in the European Council on a regular basis. On 12 May, the Greek Presidency made its 4th Presidency Compromise publicly available. Through the amendments in this compromise, the Council proposes to give Member States the opportunity to exempt providers of certain gambling services, except for casinos and online gambling (Article 2). A risk assessment should prove the low risk posed by nature, and the scale and operations of the gambling service. Member States would be obliged to notify the Commission, along with the justification based on a proper risk assessment about any exemptions made. Furthermore, providers of gambling services would be bound to customer due diligence (Article 10) through either a collection of winnings or a stake, when carrying out transactions amounting to € 2.000 or more (whether that transaction is carried out in single transaction, or in several that appear to be linked).

Following the Working Group meeting on 16 May, these above mentioned amendments were supposedly not subject to any amendments. The Presidency Compromise will now be shared with the Permanent Representatives in the COREPER and might be officially approved on 28 May. Thereby the text would become an official General Approach.

Following the presentation of a General Approach, the European Council and the European Parliament are expected to engage in so-called trialogue meetings in October 2014, aiming to reach an agreement on the text before the end of 2014. The European Commission is expected to publish its views of the Parliamentary vote anytime soon. They disagree with the approaches taken by the Parliament and Council with regards to gambling, as the Commission believes no exemptions should be provided.


CJEU issued doubts over Austria's gambling laws

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has issued doubts over Austria's gambling laws, in a ruling on the country's slot machine operators that largely follows an Opinion issued on the case in November 2013. The Court raised serious concerns that the licensing system for slot machine operators in Austria breaches companies' freedom to provide services as set out in Article 56 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The Court said in its ruling that the Austrian government had failed to show the court that its restrictive system on slot machine operators pursues ‘the objective of protecting players and fighting crime' and that those restrictions do no ‘genuinely meet' the concern to reduce opportunities for gambling or to fight gambling-related crime in a ‘consistent and systematic manner'. The case will now be referred back to Austria's administrative court.

Link to the judgment of the CJEU


 Question from MEP Papadopoulou on online gambling and the protection of minors

The Cypriot MEP Antigoni Papadopoulou (S&D) has addressed four questions to the European Commission regarding online gambling and the protection of minors on 15 April 2014. In her first question, MEP Papadopoulou refers to the Commission's 2012 Communication in which it ‘calls for operators to be obliged to display clear, prominent and explicit warnings to minors stating that it is illegal for them to engage in online gambling'. MEP Papadopoulou asks for the actions that the Commission has taken to ensure compliance, given that Cyprus and many other Member States are clearly not fulfilling this requirement. Moreover, in her second question she addresses the Parliaments' Report following the Communication, in which online gambling is referred to as a form of commercial use of sport. She wants to know whether the Commission agrees with the Parliamentary report, and whether it takes any measures to assist Member States to address the risks described by the Parliament, such as the violations of consumers' rights and the sector being subject to investigations in the context of the fight against organized crime.

Questions 3 and 4 are with regards to match-fixing. In question 3, MEP Papadopoulou refers to the European Parliament's call for a code of conduct as part of a self-regulatory initiative containing a general ban on all staff involved in sporting events that may have a direct influence on the result of matches or events. The Commission is asked whether it believes a code of conduct to be an effective way to address the situation, and whether it has taken any steps to introduce a code of conduct. In the final fourth question, the Parliamentary proposal for a European alert system about fixed sport events is addressed. MEP Papadopoulou wants to know whether the Commission considers this suggestion to be useful and whether it intends to implement it.

Link to Antigoni Papadopoulou question 1

Link to Antigoni Papadopoulou question 2

Link to Antigoni Papadopoulou question 3

Link to Antigoni Papadopoulou question 4


Czech Draft amending Act on lotteries and other similar games

The government of the Czech Republic has also notified the European Commission of a draft Bill amending the Act No. 202/1990 on lotteries and other similar games (which covers lotteries, sports betting, horse race betting, bingo, slot machines and casinos). The Act sets the limits to the maximum amounts wagered and the highest win per game widening the regulation from slots machines to other gaming devices in casinos. Besides that, the Draft changes the period for authorization for technical gaming devices to 1 year. The standstill period for this notification ends on 25 July 2014.

Link to TRIS notification 2014/198/CZ


Belgian Ministry of Finance notified Commission of three Draft Royal Decrees regualting Gambling

The Belgian Ministry of Finance has notified the European Commission of three Draft Royal Decrees regulating Gambling. The first Draft Royal Decree relates to the monitoring and control procedures for games of chance operated via authorized websites, and among others includes  monitoring and control procedures for games of chance operated in gambling establishments with specific licenses; procedures relating to preventative and punitive control; certification of the server; and game and website monitoring. The second Draft Royal Decree Draft Royal Decree relates to a list of games that may be operated by holders of a supplementary license through the use of information society tools. The third Draft Royal Decree relates to the conditions under which games of chance may be offered through information society tools, concerning at least the registration and identification of the player; verifying their age; the games offered; the rules of the game; the method of payment; and the prize distribution method.

The Belgian government has invocated an emergency procedure, following the re-launched infringement proceeding by the European Commission   in November 2013 concerning the implementation of the 1999 Act on gambling. The deadline for a reply expired in February 2014 and the Decrees are meant to serve as answers to the questions put by the European Commission regarding the Belgian legislation relating to games of chance. The government notes that the Belgian law on games of chance is a special penal law which covers, among other things, online games of chance, but the operation of this online market must be optimized.

Link to TRIS notification 2014/187/B

Link to TRIS notification     2014/188/B

Link to TRIS notification 2014/189/B

 
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