Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier said: "With this Green Paper, we have launched an ambitious consultation with no pre-determined views on its possible follow-up. The on-line gambling market in the EU continues to grow rapidly and generates important revenues that are sometimes channelled into good causes. Its expansion must go hand-in-hand with a determination to protect our citizens, especially minors, and to ensure that offers of these types of services within the EU are sound and well-regulated."
Total annual revenues in this market already exceed £5b and are expected to double by 2013, but a significant part of the market operates without a license.
The UK has the largest market with more than 50 per cent of adults gambling at least once a month and 73 per cent of adults gambling at least once a year.
Contributions to the consultation can be submitted until 31 July 2011.