European Commission calls for online gambling ‘health’ warnings

European Commission calls for online gambling ‘health’ warningsThe European Commission is to urge countries across the continent to demand that online gambling advertisements carry messages similar to those displayed on cigarette packets.

A draft document obtained by the Reuters news agency states that the European Union (EU) executive intends to focus on advertisements in order to combat compulsive gambling.

The EU executive will this week present its recommendation to improve controls of Europe’s €10.5 billion ($14.3 billion) online gambling industry.

European Commission figures suggest that online gambling is the fastest growing service activity in Europe, expanding at a rate of 15% a year.

Despite the recommendation not being legally binding, it could prompt countries in Europe to tighten advertising rules.

Such a move would replicate what is already happening in countries such as France, where a helpline number and health warning message are present on all igaming websites and advertising.  

Signs that online gambling operators are being urged to feature on advertisements include the chances of winning and losing, information on the risk of becoming an addict and assistance for compulsive gambling.

The EU also plans to propose a ban on internet gambling firms sponsoring events that are aimed at youngsters.

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