Maarten Haijer: EGBA’s Year in Review
As we reflect on the past year, EGBA has been at the forefront of driving change within Europe’s gaming and betting sector. It has been a productive and busy year, filled with significant milestones and achievements that have helped to shape the landscape of our industry.
Our main focus has been to raise industry standards in several areas. In this context, we have worked hard with our members to establish anti-money laundering guidelines that will help the sector play a positive role in Europe’s fight against financial crime. We have also been working closely with our members to advance the standardisation of markers of harm for online gambling at European level and this will help to raise safer gambling standards even further. With our members, we also took on the challenge of enhancing cyber security measures across the industry and established an expert group to support these efforts.
We also recognise the need to bring other industry players with us on this journey. In our commitment to foster a more diverse membership, this year we were pleased to introduce new associate membership options for B-2-B suppliers. We were thrilled to welcome Aircash, a leading payment services provider, as our first associate member. The value of a broader membership base cannot be overstated – it allows us to better unite the industry’s voice, gain a deeper understanding of how regulatory issues impact the wider industry, and ultimately drive positive change at a larger scale.
2024 marks a significant milestone in terms of regulation, as the legislative process to replace the last remaining exclusive monopoly regime for online gambling in the EU begins. With Finland in the process of changing its legislation, all member states of the EU will soon have multi-licensing regulation as their model for regulating online gambling. This progress is truly remarkable, achieved in less than 15 years, and it serves as a testament to EGBA’s determination over many years to promote a more open and competitive market in Europe that benefits both operators and consumers alike.
As we move forward, EGBA will continue to advocate for the consistent and effective application of multi-licensing regulation across Europe, including in those countries which still retain some product-specific monopolistic or protectionist practices, to foster a fairer and more competitive gambling market. We look forward to the European Parliament elections in June and the arrival of a new European Commission. Safer gambling will continue to be a top priority for EGBA during this period as we strive to raise standards and contribute to the development of robust and evidence-based policies that truly support consumer protection.
This year should see the conclusion of the CEN standard on markers of harm for online gambling, which will serve as a benchmark for best practices and demonstrate our commitment to a safer gambling environment for everyone in Europe. Additionally, we eagerly anticipate the next edition of the European Safer Gambling Week later this year, which we aim to ramp up once more to reinforce our dedication to raising awareness about safer gambling and the importance of player protection.
As you delve into the pages of our Annual Activity Report 2023, you will discover a snapshot of our activities over the past year. From fostering cooperation across the industry to advancing industry standards, each endeavour reflects our unwavering commitment to driving positive change within the sector. We are grateful for the trust and support of our members, stakeholders, and partners, and look forward to continuing our collective efforts to shape the future of the industry. For the better.
Secretary General, EGBA
* This article appears in EGBA’s recently published Annual Activity Report 2023.