PvdA MEP Jan Cremers insists gambling on the Internet must be addressed. Today, the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection in the European Parliament requested the European Commission to take action.
In recent years online gambling has increased enormously. At this moment gambling via the Internet, mobile phones and interactive television accounts for 5% of the total gambling market in the European Union. It is difficult for individual Member States to control and monitor online gambling. Internet does not stop at the border, therefore it is important these issues are tackled together, said Cremers.
"I am not a gambler, but I have nothing against someone who likes or wants to do that every now and then. Online gambling should not be banned, but European action is needed to address problems that gambling will bring.
The European Parliament focuses on the prevention of fraud and illegal practices. "Criminal behaviour, such as money laundering or dubious activities in which the provider is outside any form of jurisdiction because he is on an island in the Pacific Ocean is unacceptable," said Cremers. He expects more than just new European rules. "The European Commission, must address the problem with an international perspective," said Cremers.
Furthermore, the European Parliament must pay more attention to addiction to online gambling. Because gambling via the Internet is easily accessible to everyone, there is a greater risk of addiction. Also, the European Parliament must impose stricter rules to protect minors from the unwanted effects of online gambling.
"An important first step would be the bona fide accrediting f providers. We can prevent unwanted minors from sitting behind their PCs gambling by, for example, being obligated to make a notification of a credit card number."