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The European Gaming and Betting Association is urging the implementation and enforcement of a long-term action plan, for the better enforcement of the continents single market rules.

Following a meeting in Brussels, the EGBA has stressed the importance of the European Commission and Parliament to focus on ensuring the single market rules are better implemented and enforced to benefit European consumers, particularly in the online environment.

Welcoming “timely and justified” conclusions, the group gas states that “despite the digital single market being high up the political agenda over the past years, it has not been sufficiently developed to enable Europe’s citizens to benefit from the full potential of a truly functional and integrated online single market”.

Citing recent research, it was further emphasised that “making the digital single market work for EU citizens who bet or play poker online is crucial – because today they are less well protected than a person who buys a plane ticket or a book online”.

A recent study by the City University of London attributed Europe’s failure to protect online gamblers to the highly fragmented nature of the national policy rules for online gambling.

It showed that the digital single market is failing to protect online gamblers, and found that only one country has fully implemented the commission’s guidelines, aimed at providing EU citizens a basic set on consumer protection measures dedicated to responsible gambling.

Maarten Haijer, secretary general of the European Gaming and Betting Association, explained: “It is 2019: If the EU is really serious about making the digital single market work for its consumers, then the Commission should enforce EU law in all online sectors, including online gambling.

“We call on the Commission to fulfil its task as the Guardian of the Treaties by enforcing EU law in the whole online environment. 

“The Commission should also reinstate the regulatory cooperation between member states in online gambling, to allow structured dialogue and help improve cross-border cooperation and the protection of consumers. It is time for the Commission to act.”