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Gambling: Internet

Volume 494: debated on Wednesday 24 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of steps taken by the online gambling industry to identify and prevent fraud in relation to bets taken on sport. (280146)

Licensed betting operators are required by the Gambling Commission to provide information in relation to bets they suspect may relate to an offence under the Act. The Commission is working with all licensed betting operators to ensure the identification and prevention of fraud in relation to sports betting is effective.

In addition, the expert panel on sports integrity I am establishing will look at, consider and report on, a range of issues including the identification and prevention of online fraud in relation to betting integrity.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will submit to the European Commission a paper giving the Government’s opinion on the legislation proposed by the French government on the operation of its domestic online gambling market; and if he will discuss with the government of Malta the likely effects of its policy on that matter on UK leisure and gaming businesses. (280147)

The UK Government have submitted comments to the European Commission under the technical notification procedure on the French legislative proposals in relation to online gambling. We are concerned that some of the measures contained in the notification may constitute restrictions to trade and our comments have emphasised the need for any restrictions to be justified by imperative reasons in the general interest; to be suitable for achieving the objectives in question; to be necessary and proportionate; and to be applied in a non-discriminatory manner, as interpreted by decisions of the European Court of Justice.

I have no plans to conduct formal discussions with the Government of Malta over this matter although my officials found the detailed opinions submitted by the Government of Malta and the European Commission helpful when considering this issue.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations he has received from UK leisure and gaming businesses on the likely effects on them of (a) provisions relating to a sports rights levy and (b) other provisions proposed by the French government in draft legislation on its domestic online gambling market. (280148)

Officials from the Department recently met with representatives from the remote gambling industry to discuss the French legislative proposals on online gambling. During that meeting, the industry set out their concerns over the impact some of the proposals might have on UK gambling businesses, including in respect of the provisions relating to a sports rights levy.