Press Releases

Digital Industries Join Forces to Call for EU Privacy Rules Consistency


Ahead of the EU Telecommunications Council on 8 June, where the EU draft e-Privacy Regulation (ePR) will be discussed, a group of 57 digital industry associations has sent a joint letter to EU Ministers urging them to ensure consistency between the e-Privacy Regulation and the recently introduced General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into force on 25 May. The industry initiative – which was coordinated by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) – calls on EU Ministers to ensure that EU privacy rules are consistent to enable a high-level of privacy protection for consumers and legal clarity for businesses with regards to data processing and enforcement. “Following the recent privacy scandals it is crucial that the EU restores consumer trust and reassure consumers that their data is being protected and processed responsibly by digital companies. The recent introduction of the GDPR is a significant milestone in helping to...

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Dutch Court Rules on Offline Gambling Licensing While Online Gambling Reform Flounders


The Council of State, the highest administrative court of the Netherlands, has questioned the granting of the country’s lotto license to the state-owned gambling operator Nederlandse Loterij after finding the existence of only one lotto license to be insufficiently justified by the national gambling regulator. The Council also ruled that the existence of a sole sports betting license for the offline market, granted also to the state-owned lottery, was justified. The Council ruling follows an appeal by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) whose members have been excluded from the Dutch sports betting market as a result of the limited availability of sports betting licenses. The Council of State has ruled that the national gambling regulator, the Netherlands Gaming Authority or Kansspelautoriteit, must present convincing arguments to justify why it restricts the number of licenses for lotto games while it grants multiple licenses for other forms of gambling, including...

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EU Court Rejects Hungarian Online Gambling Regime and Prohibits Offline Activities Requirement


The European Court of Justice (CJEU) has today ruled that the Hungarian requirement to have an offline casino in order to be allowed to offer online casino games is in clear violation of EU law. The ruling, in a case brought by EU-licensed online gaming operator Sporting Odds, also prohibits enforcement by the Hungarian authorities based on its current gambling legislation which is not in line with the EU freedom to provide services. The European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA) welcomes the ruling which reinforces the CJEU’s previous judgment against Hungarian licensing regulations and is a significant step in providing further legal clarity to online gambling regulation in Europe. In today’s judgement[1], the CJEU ruled that Hungarian legislation on granting licenses to operate online casino games, which required licensees to hold a license for a land-based casino in the territory of Hungary, is not compatible with the principle of freedom...

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European Court of Justice: European Commission Correct to Issue Guidelines for Protecting Consumers Using Online Gambling Services


The EU Court of Justice (CJEU) has ruled[1] that the European Commission acted within its rights by issuing guidelines to member states on how to protect consumers from online gambling services. The CJEU rejected a claim[2] by the Belgian Government that the Commission had gone beyond its Treaty-based competences by issuing the guidelines and found the guidelines did not interfere with the right of Member States to regulate online gambling services. The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) welcomes the CJEU decision and supports the full adoption of the Commission guidelines by Member States. The guidelines[3], published in 2014, contain a number of practical recommendations aimed at fostering a high degree of consumer protection in Member States and prevent minors from online gambling. The Belgian Government had claimed that the guidelines interfered with Member State sovereignty and competences to regulate national gambling markets. While the guidelines are not legally binding,...

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Online Privacy: European Online Gambling Operators File Data Protection Complaint Against Unlawful Payment Blocking Scheme in Norway


The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has asked the Norwegian Data Protection Inspectorate (DPI) to urgently investigate a Norwegian payment blocking scheme for serious breaches of the privacy of Norwegian citizens when conducting online payments. The scheme established by the Norwegian Gaming Authority (NGA) is in contravention of Norwegian Data Protection laws and the European Convention on Human Rights according to the EGBA, representing Europe’s leading online gambling operators.  The Norwegian Payment Blocking Regulation exists since 2010 and essentially prohibits businesses from carrying out payments of bets and prizes in online gambling services which do not have a licence in Norway. Despite the NGA’s own analysis which determined the payment blocking regulation to be ineffective,[1] in March of 2017 the NGA suddenly imposed orders on Norwegian banks to block transactions to 7 identified account numbers.[2] According to the EGBA, the manner in which the NGA obtained that account number...

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Juncker’s ‘Political’ Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Courts


EU-based and EU-regulated gambling operators oppose today’s decision of the Juncker Commission to discontinue its work to combat infringements of the EU single market rules in the gambling sector which has well over 20 million EU consumers. With a constant stream of court cases, over 30 consistent rulings issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and further cases pending it is evident that the online gambling sector, an inherently cross-border sector, is rife with EU law infringements and that consumers are clicking on unregulated, non-EU gambling websites. This Commission decision also conflicts with the EU’s own self-stated policy priorities, in particular the EU’s Digital Single Market programme, and is at odds with concerted efforts to enhance consumer safety and combat money-laundering and match-fixing ahead of next year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.   The infringement cases which the Commission has today officially closed without further action...

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