New study: Europeans are not fully protected by EU rules for online gambling

All EU member states, except Denmark, have not fully implemented EU consumer protection guidelines for online gambling, putting the protection of online gamblers at risk by leaving them exposed to unequal and inadequate levels of consumer protection across EU member states, according to a new study published today by the City University London and commissioned by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA).

The study reviewed the implementation of selected key provisions of the principles of the European Commission’s Recommendation 2014/478/EU across EU Member States, including players’ identification, minors’ protection & social responsibilities measures, and found that major gaps exist.

The study finds that the primary objective of the Commission’s guidelines – to fully protect all online gamblers in Europe – has not been achieved. The regulation of online gambling substantially diverges between Member States and this has exposed online players to varied levels of consumer protection.

Key findings of the study:

General

  • The primary objective of the European Commission’s Recommendation has not been achieved. Regulation of online gambling substantially diverges between Member States exposing online players to varied levels of consumer
  • Only one jurisdiction (Denmark) has implemented the Recommendation fully.

Players’ identification & verification requirements

  • 25 countries legally require online players to open an online gambling account in order to play.
  • 22 countries require players’ identities to be verified upon application to open a gambling account.

Minors’ protection

  • All countries impose a minimum age requirement for gambling, with 22 countries setting a uniform age restriction at 18 years of age for all types of online gambling.
  • 13 countries require ‘no underage gambling’ sign to be displayed on or during commercial advertisements

Social responsibilities’ measures

  • 23 countries oblige operators to offer self-exclusion facilities for online players.
  • 14 countries have established national self-exclusion registers.
  • No country initiates automatic referral to health group organisation or treatment centres upon self-exclusion.

An executive summary of the study can be found here.

The full study can be found here.

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