Promoting safer online gambling

The vast majority of people who gamble play for fun and in a responsible way, but not all do. EGBA supports measures to ensure that all players are better protected, especially the approximately 1% who display problem gambling behaviour.

The vast majority of people gamble for fun, do so responsibly, in a controlled way and within their financial means, betting relatively small amounts and playing only occasionally – and EGBA wants to keep it that way. In 2017, customers of EGBA member companies bet on average 10 EUR every 17 days, representing just 210 euro per year or 1% of the average EU salary.

Problem gambling is a public health concern

But there is no doubt that problem gambling is a concern and a justified public health issue that can severely and negatively affect players and the people close to them. And whilst problem gambling rates in European countries generally remain stable[1], one person affected is one too many. With an estimated 1-2% of gamblers affected by problem gambling in Europe, there are legitimate concerns about what operators and regulators are doing to protect players and prevent problem gambling.

Industry leadership is important: responsible gambling is a win-win

Responsible gambling should be viewed holistically – not only from a consumption point of view – and not ignore the responsibility to ensure that the provision of gambling services is also responsible. Because it’s in the sector’s long term best interests to cultivate long term, loyal customers. We want players to have fun and win, to enjoy the experience and gamble responsibly, while online gambling operators can continue to be profitable and sustain their business at the same time.

Ensuring responsible gambling requires coordinated approach from all stakeholders

All stakeholders – policy makers, regulators, operators, consumer and health groups, and academia – must work closer together and more rigorously to address problem gambling. In this, EGBA recognises its role in helping to promote greater industry responsibility. That’s why our members must comply with CEN’s standards for Responsible Remote Gambling Measures and EGBA’s own internal responsibility standards. On top of this, our companies have invested more than €22.5 million in Know Your Customer checks, which enable identity verification and help to prevent minors from gambling.

To ensure greater responsibility, EGBA calls for:

  • The full implementation by EU member states of the European Commission’s 2014 Recommendation on consumer protection in online gambling.[2]
  • All commercial advertisements to be responsible and include minimum age requirements to deter minors.
  • Greater advertising spend to raise awareness about potentially problematic gambling behaviour and to inform customers about responsible gambling tools.
  • Online gambling operators to provide a full range of self-exclusion tools to their customers and make the availability of these tools known.
  • Introduction of regulation in all member states to establish permanent self-exclusion registers.
  • The further development and roll out of digital tools which can protect players, such as mobile apps that block gambling websites or provide information and insight to the player about his or her gambling behaviour.

There are many challenges to ensure that the provision and use of online gambling services in Europe is fully responsible and offers a high level of protection for consumers. Many protections already exist – but much more can be done. It will require better self-regulation from the sector, deeper cooperation between all stakeholders, stronger licensing rules and full enforcement of the existing rules.

Key facts:

  • The vast majority of people gamble for fun, do so responsibly, in a controlled way and within their financial means. An average customer of EGBA member companies bets on average 10 EUR every 17 days, representing just over 200 euro per year or just 1% of the average EU salary.
  • On the basis of recent studies, problem gambling rates remain stable with approximately 1% of gamblers affected by problem gambling – but more needs to be done to protect them.
  • EGBA members comply with the CEN standards for Responsible Remote Gambling Measures and EGBA’s own set of internal responsibility standards.
  • Our companies have invested more than €22.5 million in Know Your Customer checks, which enable identity verification and help to prevent minors from gambling.

 

 


[1] Health Survey, UK Gambling Commission (2018)
[2] Recommendation on principles for the protection of consumers and players of online gambling services and for the prevention of minors from gambling online, European Commission (2014)

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