On-line gambling is a fast developing business in Europe abd annual revenues exceeding EUR 6 billion in 2008 and expected to double in size by 2013. National legal frameworks vary enormously across the EU, with different rules applying to licensing, related on-line services, payments, public interest objectives, and the fight against fraud. In order to ensure legal certainty and effective protection of EU citizens in this fast-growing cross-border service activity, it is important to evaluate how possibly differing models can co-exist within the Internal Market.

The primary aim of the Green Paper consultation, launched today, is therefore to obtain a facts-based picture of the existing situation in the EU on-line gambling market and of the different national regulatory models. The Commission seeks the views of stakeholders and wishes to collect detailed information and data on key policy issues such as organisation of on-line gambling services and enforcement of applicable laws; consumer protection and other relevant public policy challenges as well as commercial communications and payment services. Expert workshops on specific themes will be organised to complement this consultation.

Despite the European economic downturn, the online gaming industry continues with its relentless expansion. Gross Gaming yield in Europe in 2003 was €1.28 billion. This rose to €8.75 billion in 2009, and is projected at €13.94 billion for 2013. As a result, more and more countries are seeing the need to introduce new regulatory models and licensing systems to generate revenue, and to protect both operators and the individual.

European online gaming market in detail and excludes online gambling altogether. Social games, traditional online games and casual websites are becoming increasingly popular worldwide. This is also true for the European market. Important markets in this sector are Great Britain and Germany as well as Russia. Still, revenue and user