EGBA’s manifesto for the new EU term

As Europeans head to the polls on 23-26 May, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) is calling on the incoming European Parliament and Commission to act in the online gambling sector to ensure Europe’s online gamblers are better protected.

With online betting now representing more than 20% of the EU gambling market, the lack of common EU rules for online betting is jeopardising players safety when they play online. That’s because EU countries have different rules for regulating online gambling and there are significant disparities in the quality of these national regulations, including the consumer protections available to online gamblers.

This is confirmed by a recent study by the City University of London which concluded that only one member state – Denmark – has fully implemented existing EU consumer protection guidelines for online gambling and significant gaps exist in the protection of Europe’s players. The lack of common online gambling regulations also fails to protect Europe’s players from often bogus and unsupervised websites operated from outside the EU.

“In 2019, there’s no reason why online gamblers living in one member country should be less protected than those living in another – but they are. That’s why EGBA is calling for common EU rules and better regulatory cooperation to ensure a more consistent and better standard of protection for all Europe’s online gamblers, including access to a national self-exclusion register and protection against threats from gambling websites based outside the EU.” – Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, EGBA.

In its recent EU manifesto the EGBA outlined its calls for:

  • The European Commission to ensure the implementation of its 2014 Recommendation on consumer protection by all EU member states by proposing legally binding measures.
  • The European Commission to propose a new policy for online gambling which takes account of recent digital developments – such as blockchain, artificial intelligence.
  • The European Commission to reinstate the expert group of national gambling authorities to ensure regular exchanges of best practices, dialogue and regulatory cooperation.
  • Further standardisation of national technical requirements for online gambling, ranging from IT and auditing requirements to anti-money laundering reporting.
  • Reinforced transparency under the so-called notification procedure, to assess and resolve any potential compliance issues with EU law before a national law enters into force.
  • The European Commission to fully enforce EU law in the online gambling sector.
  • EU member states to retain the competence for levying a point of consumption tax.
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