EGBA welcomes online gambling protection measures

The European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA) has endorsed a publication by the European Commission (EC) of the recommendation for the protection of consumers partaking in online gambling within the European Union (EU).

The EC recommendation contains a range of concrete and practical measures that allows EU Member States to implement a common high level of consumer protection measures throughout the EU.

The publication said that the recommendation aims to ensure that gambling remains a source of entertainment, minors are prevented from taking part in gambling activities and consumers are provided with a safe environment in which they can gamble.

The recommendation is also in line with the CEN workshop agreement on Responsible Remote Gambling Measures, which EGBA members already voluntarily adhere to and are regularly audited against.

As well as practical consumer protection and responsible gambling measures, the recommendation also cites the importance of an attractive regulated offer as “online players look for competing gambling opportunities whenever they perceive a lack of attractive offers”.

In addition, it also highlights that with the current fragmentation of the EU market that results from the national licensing regime, “the multiplication of compliance requirements can create unnecessary duplication of infrastructure and costs, resulting in an unnecessary administrative burden on regulators”.

Maarten Haijer, secretary general of the EGBA, said: “European consumers deserve to be equally well protected throughout the EU, wherever they reside.

“The members of EGBA already impose themselves very strict rules regarding consumer protection as we firmly believe that an attractive and responsible gambling environment are two sides of the same coin.”

“We are very pleased that the EC is taking the lead in implementing an EU policy for online gambling, which is evidently necessary for this cross-border internet sector.

“We encourage the Commission to fully implement its action plan and address the fragmentation of the EU market with similar actions and legislative initiatives.”

The EC recommendation forms part of an EU policy on internet gambling that was developed in the Commission’s Action Plan of 2012 and supported by the European Parliament.

Although it is not legally binding, Member States are encouraged to implement it to help ensure that both consumers and minors are protected at a similarly high level in the EU.

The EC will review its implantation by Member States in 24 months after official publication in the EU’s official journal.

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