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GTECH G2 Debate on European Gambling Regulation

By: Shirley Spicer, Thursday January 7th 2010
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GTECH G2 hosted a debate in December 2009 in London. The topic of the debate was the harmonization of the regulation of online gambling in Europe. Leigh Nissim, Commercial Director for GTECH G2, explained the purpose of holding this debate. The regulated rate changes on anvil in the various European countries would be the greatest influence on online gaming in the next few years. Therefore it is essential that the major players in this industry understand each other’s points of view. The debate was held at The Royal Suite of The Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel.

A large number of representatives of the industry attended the debate. They included online gaming operators, software developers, regulators and industry observers. The speakers included representatives from Alderney, France and Italy along with a panel of legal experts. The debate was chaired by Robin Le Prevost, Head Of eCommerce Development for the gaming jurisdiction of Alderney. As in all debates there were two sides to this one. One view was the creation of a common European Union regulatory framework for the 27 separate jurisdictions. The other view was that state controlled online gaming regulation would be more advantageous. Five resolutions were put to a panel of pro-European legislative harmonization representatives. The same resolutions were then put to a group of experts favoring state regulated online gaming markets. Each speaker was given five minutes to support his point of view or argue against the views expounded by the opposing group.

Dr. Trevor De Giorgio, Dr. Joseph Borg and Tom Lippiet argued in favor of a common European regulatory mechanism. Those arguing for state controlled online gaming regulation included Quirino Mancini and Momtchil Monov. The views put forward by Monov, an associate at Ulys Law Firm, made most sense. He said that at present the 27 member states of the European Union have 27 different views on how online gaming should be conducted. He added, "When you speak to the Poles, when you speak to the Bulgarians, when you speak to the French, they don’t share the same views. I would say a mutually satisfactory compromise is not that easy. Negotiations are very difficult." Michael Caselli, the event moderator, said that the purpose of the debate was not to reach a consensus but to understand the different points of view. He said, "I think we did a great job on opening up our eyes to both the State controlled initiatives and the EU wide regulatory initiatives."

GTECH G2 is the online gaming subsidiary of GTECH Corporation, an American gaming technology and services firm. GTECH G2 has over 200 licensees and therefore has a lot at stake in which way the European online gaming market moves. Its next Thought Leadership Seminar will be announced in early 2010.

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Comment by: Stefan On: January 08, 2010
IMO the way forward is a single market inside the EU (and possibly within EEC, including Switzerland, Iceland, Norway etc) regulated by a single EU body, paid for by the taxes from commercial gambling. This could then combat fraud and crime in the industry from both sides, punters or casinos/bookies.

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