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Malta fights to settle Online Gambling Confusion

23/06/2010
Malta has opposed EU’s Competitiveness Council meeting which adopted a definition of illegal gambling as: “gambling in which operators do not comply with the national law of the country where services are offered, provided those national laws are in compliance with EU treaty principles".
 
Malta has opposed EU’s Competitiveness Council meeting which adopted a definition of illegal gambling as: “gambling in which operators do not comply with the national law of the country where services are offered, provided those national laws are in compliance with EU treaty principles".

Malta, amongst other jurisdictions, agrees online gambling should be regulated by existing laws covering the EU’s free movement of services and no member state should restrict national markets to limit competition from online companies operating in other countries. However, other member states, including France and Portugal, have taken measures over the past years to monopolise their lucrative gaming markets, restricting competition.
 
Currently Malta has attracted more than 250 remote gaming companies and issued over 350 licenses, employing about 5,200 employees in Malta only for this sector, and service around 10% of the world’s internet gaming market.
 
Michel Barnier, new Internal Market Commissioner, announced he planned to address the matter and instructed the European Commission services to draft a green paper on the issue. This will be revised in autumn of 2010, first time the member states will be consulted on the gambling industry since 2006.
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