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November 1, 2014

EU States warned that a crackdown is coming


Michel BarnierThe European Union is expecting to get tough on illegal online gambling later in the year, by cracking down on illegal gambling sites that are currently running in countries that they are not officially permitted to do so in.

The EU's move to remove unregulated and unauthorized online gambling is the latest in a series of steps by the organization to improve the market. Several other European Union countries have recently adjusted and amended their online gambling laws and even more have begun to draw up a blacklist of what sites their populace may visit. Spain and Italy are the latest two countries to offer licenses to specific online gambling sites whilst blocking others. The blacklisting measure has been particularly successful in Belgium, where a police block on unregulated and unauthorized gambling sites has meant Belgians cannot even access the site.

The European Union's internal marketing chief, Michel Barnier is in agreement with a paper that includes strict measures to enforce a crackdown on illegal gambling sites, many of which are often located in offshore tax havens such as Malta or Gibraltar.

In a recent speech in Brussels, Michel Barnier is reported to have spoken to the 27 member states of the European Union, addressing to them that appropriate measures need to be taken to regulate and supervise the market, whilst at the same time shutting down access to those not considered legal. He was quoted as seeking an autumn time frame for the plan to commence.

Mr. Barnier has also rumored to have warned several EU member states that they could face possible infringements punishment over their breaches of the European Union rules regarding online gambling.

The Internal Market Chief has stated that he will write to the unnamed member states warning them to comply with the regulations or face the punishments for infringing the rules. It is widely believed that the EU has designs on regulating online gambling in all member states, something that will inevitably cause a stir given the current financial climate.

This isn't believed to be the only issue on the table surrounding Mr. Barnier's speech in the European Parliament in Brussels. The European Union is also looking at ways to cut fraud, as well as maintain the integrity of sports and sports betting. Money laundering is also believed to be high up on their list of issues that need to be dealt with.

The online gambling community is not so thrilled with Mr. Barnier's speech however. They are claiming that a lack of legal framework means that in order to gamble online in an age where online gambling is a very profitable business, consumers will turn to illegal or unregulated sites if they must.


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