The European Gaming and Betting Association has backed a call made by gambling authorities of 14 member states to re-establish the EU Expert Group on Gambling.

The group has written to the European Commission to formally request the reestablishment, as confirmed René Jansen, the chairperson of the Dutch Gambling Authority.

Support for the call has subsequently been issued by the EGBA, with the Expert Group to help encourage and support more common and joined-up approaches towards regulating Europe’s gambling market.

Previously, the group provided a platform for gambling regulators to exchange information, share best practices and work together on joint initiatives, such as the Commission’s 2014 recommendation on consumer protection in online gambling.

The EU Expert Group on Gambling consisted of representatives from the region’s gambling authorities, but was disbanded by the Commission in 2018, despite regulators deeming it to be a success.

“There is currently no EU framework for gambling regulators to even communicate, let alone to jointly tackle the big issues affecting Europe’s online gambling sector,” stated Maarten Haijer, secretary general of the EGBA.

“Most of these issues are cross-border in nature and require common solutions. We therefore welcome the strong commitment to regulatory cooperation and call to action from the majority of Europe’s gambling regulators. 

“The message to the European Commission is clear: both gambling regulators and the sector itself are united in support of the Expert Group and call upon the Commission to reinstate the Expert Group.” 

Europe’s gambling market is worth €100bn per year, with many millions of Europeans playing, but the absence of the Expert Group means that, unlike any other consumer market, there is currently no formal framework for regulatory cooperation at EU-level. 

The EGBA has previously called on the Commission to reinstate the Expert Group, and believes that the challenges facing gambling regulation mean that formal and structured regulatory cooperation between member states is even more important to help protect consumers.