The EU is due to vote on closer co-operation between member states on new gambling laws, after MEP Ashley Fox bought a motion forward for enhanced co-operation. The British Conservative MEP represents the South West of the country as well as Gibraltar, and it is this latter interest that surely shapes this motion.
Indeed, with proposed changes to British gambling laws bringing in a 15% point of consumption tax on online gambling, Gibraltar based operators could miss out on the tax breaks that they get from being incorporated on the peninsula. It’s no surprise, therefore, that they are suspicious of any change to current regulations.
Indeed, instead of recommending EU-wide regulation of online and mobile casinos, the report recommends the continuance of the current status-quo: governments will regulate their own gambling, but will co-operate closely with other member states on potential law changes. Special co-operation will take place on consumer protection and money laundering, while member states will be encouraged to share blacklists and ban illegal sites.
With so many British internet casino located in Gibraltar, as well as casinos across the EU, the British overseas territory is one of the key players in this bill. The Gibraltar Betting and Gambling Association (GBGA) has agreed an affiliate partnership with the European Gaming and Betting Association, as it hopes to “assist EU policy makers to learn more about online gaming in Gibraltar and allow the Gibraltar-based remote gambling industry to input on important industry matters at international level”.
With Gibraltar looking to reduce the scope of this latest piece of gambling news, GBGA Chief Executive Peter Howitt stated: “Partnership with the EGBA will allow us to work in tandem with the EGBA to better represent Gibraltar gaming operators in the EU on key issues relating to consumer protection, anti-money laundering and effective regulation within the context of an increasingly competitive environment.”