The European Gaming and Betting Association has again reiterated the need to introduce new rules to better protect the continent’s 12 million online gamblers.
This comes as the new EU term begins, with much policy attention already having been given to the importance of making Europe’s digital economy work better for consumers and businesses.
Coming in the aftermath of a new European Parliament study that was presented earlier this month, the EGBA has called on the EU to:
- Create a safer online gambling environment across member states.
- Promote better alignment of national gambling policies, which it believes could occur through MEPs encouraging the incoming Commission to reinstate the expert group of national gambling authorities.
The authority is striving to see the introduction of stronger and more uniform consumer protection rules and enhanced regulatory cooperation, which it states would be a “win-win-win”.
As well as this the EGBA also wants to see the introduction of better regulation of Europe’s online gambling activities, higher consumer protection standards across the EU and more similar and clearer rules for gambling companies to comply with.
“These national rules work in isolation to each other and are contrary to the internet’s true, borderless nature”
Issuing the calls comes in the aftermath of the new study, presented at the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, which identifies ways in which the EU digital economy could be strengthened and further enhanced to benefit consumers and businesses.
One such measure outlined regards the introduction of more EU rules for online gambling to close existing gaps in consumer protection in the sector – which could also potentially save €6bn per year.
In a media release the EGBA stressed: “These gaps are very real and a result of 28 different sets of member state rules for online gambling. While there is some EU regulation which applies to online gambling, such as the GDPR and the anti-money laundering directive, it is a sector almost entirely regulated by national policies.
“These national rules work in isolation to each other and are contrary to the internet’s true, borderless nature – leading to fragmentation and different consumer protection rules for the 12 million Europeans who gamble online.”
Furthermore, the authority is also calling on cooperation between regulatory authorities to re-established to encourage information sharing, regular exchanges of best practices, dialogue and the development of common approaches and rules.
This comes after the European Commission disbanded a group of national expert gambling regulators in 2018, despite those concerned “considering it to be a great success and valuable platform for exchanging information”.