EGBA welcomes progression to create safer European online environment

Europe, EU

The European Gaming and Betting Association has noted progress made on the Digital Services Act, as it looks forward to the creation of “a safer online environment for European consumers”.

The group has persistently called for  “an ambitious reform of the digital space,” and, following the European Parliament adopting its DSA stance last week, states that it “looks forward to the trialogue negotiations on the dossier”.

Thursday 20 January, 2021, at a plenary meeting in Strasbourg, the European Parliament adopted its position on the DSA after months of negotiations on the dossier. 

The Parliament’s position includes measures to counter illegal products, services and content online, including procedures on removing them, more options for tracking-free advertising and a ban on targeted ads towards minors.

The EGBA has called the move “a step in the right direction,” noting the particular importance of “strengthening measures to protect minors across many different age-gated sectors,” including online gambling.

It adds that the authority “recognises that gambling advertising should be conducted in a socially responsible way,” and fully supports measures which prevent the targeting of minors. 

In addition, the EGBA adds that it welcomes the Parliament’s maintenance of the cornerstone country of origin principle in the DSA, as well as a strictly-defined trusted flagger notice mechanism: to avoid abuses and erroneous take-downs of online content which it says has been wrongly considered illegal and jeopardising fundamental freedoms. 

“We welcome the European Parliament’s progress on the DSA and its proposals to create a safer online environment for European consumers, in particular by prohibiting targeted advertising towards minors,” commented Maarten Haijer, secretary general of the EGBA

“In the online gambling sector, there is already an absolute ban for minors to gamble and to advertise towards them in all EU member states. We do, however, welcome the proposed harmonisation of prohibiting the use of minor’s data for targeted ads and the extension of these protections to other sectors.”

The Parliament will now enter negotiations with the Council, with the latter having already agreed on its own position back in November 2021. The EGBA says that it looks forward to participating in further input to these negotiations.