Common ground in Europe unlikely

The European Commission believes that the chances of common gambling rules being put in place by its member states are very slim. This is despite many wishing that a compromise is struck.

Internal Market Commissioner, Charlie McCreevy, said that although he wishes there would be universal agreement on the matter, he remained realistic.

"The first starting point would be to get some form of consensus among the 25 member states. We can start off by getting consensus in this big Parliament, but I do not think we will. I am sure we will not get it at the Council of Ministers. Not a chance," he said speaking at a debate at the European Parliament.

There has been a great deal of dispute recently over member states of the E.U protecting their own industries, thus preventing outside competition from entering their market. The remote gaming industry has made several complaints about several E.U member states over this matter, particularly Italy and France, claiming that the E.U principle of the free movement of trade and services is being prevented.

Accordingly, an investigation into seven E.U member states is currently being carried out.

Labour MEP Louis Grech stated that the Commission should intervene where they feel that the principles of the E.U are not being allowed to flourish and called for Mr McCreevy to disclose current details of the investigation.

However, although McCreevy confirmed that replies from the relevant member states were being addressed, he refused to divulge details of where the investigation was going, simply repeating that the Commission will ensure that member states abide by existing E.U laws.

Editor, - 2006-11-17 11:07:52

Online Casino Gambling at