European Union Seeks Member Consensus on Online Gambling
Responding to growing friction between member nations and the EU, the European Parliament and Council of Ministers asked the European Commission to deliver a standardized set of rules for online gambling. The Commission is being urged by some to define specific rules for gambling and online casinos, while some members contend existing agreements cover the topics.
Differing positions on gambling based on either tax or morality positions have cropped up amidst nations, several of whom have disregarded EU rulings. Norway established a payment transaction ban similar to the US UIGEA. Many countries have state monopolies running gaming internally.
But the United Kingdom says agreements on trade of services apply, as Internet gambling is simply another service and should be treated accordingly.
Taxation is seen as a major obstacle. Under current conditions, nations such as the UK, with many online casinos based there, collect taxes, while countries providing players see no revenue. France has moved to open its gambling market, but insists all licensed Internet gambling sites will pay French tax, regardless of base location.
European officials say the issue has grown too large for a solution to come from the courts, and that a political agreement must be reached to end the building chaos. Some members want individual states to be able to determine their own structure, while others say the Union exists to reach solidarity on such problems.
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