The European Commission outlined measures on Tuesday to tighten controls on online gambling, a fast-growing, multi-billion-euro industry, to combat fraud, money laundering and rigging of sport fixtures.
“Consumers, but more broadly all citizens, must be adequately protected,” European internal markets commissioner Michel Barnier said.
“Money laundering and fraud must be prevented, sport must be safeguarded against betting-related match-fixing and national rules must comply with EU law,” Barnier said in a statement.
The commission said the European online gaming industry would be worth 13 billion euros ($16.9 billion) by 2015 but alongside regulated sites, there were countless others that were unregulated and often outside of the EU.
Shared regulation was the key for many problems associated with online gambling which crossed state borders, it said.
Among the major issues, the Commission noted the need to protect children and other vulnerable groups and to prevent fraud and money-laundering via online gambling operations.
“A high level of cooperation is needed, in particular to safeguard the integrity of sports,” it added.