EGBA States EU Policies Should Be Responsive Flexible Borderless

As a new mandate of the European Union institutions begins the European Gaming and Betting Association has released a further analysis of the EU’s approach to online gambling.

In calling for a previously issued “somewhat paradoxical” soft, non-binding recommendation to be considered a sufficient measure to encourage all member states to ensure a high level of consumer protection for their online players, the group has once again highlighted issues with the cross-border nature of gambling protection.

Stressing that regulating a borderless online environment requires responsive flexible and borderless” policies, the EGBA argues that potential adoption needs to go beyond national boundaries to build a more common European regulatory basis.

Dr Margaret Carran, City University of London said: “Europe’s diverging online gambling rules are problematic for protecting consumers. All member states care and wish to adequately protect their players but, substantively, the differences in national approaches to regulating online gambling are difficult to justify.”

The report highlights five key reasons why more EU regulation will favor online gamblers and minors, exploring the common and potentially cross-border existence of online gambling, and highlighting a patchwork of national laws and no single market.

In addition, the group also discusses why current EU consumer protection requirements are insufficient and greatly diverge, there is no structured mechanism for regulatory cooperation between EU countries and EU regulations are not being applied in the field.

Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of the Authority, discusses the issue in the new ‘ Online Gambling Focus ‘ of the EGBA: “It is already clear that a major objective of the new EU institutions share is to make the EU single market fit for the increasingly digitalised economic world.

“This will require EU regulations which keep pace with the internet’s rapid technological development, fully protect the rights and interests of online consumers and lead to online markets less impeded by national borders.

“There is no doubt that technological step-changes have raised legitimate questions about how the rights of European consumers, the interests of businesses, and good regulation can intersect harmoniously in the online world.

“I recognise these challenges. Because in the past ten years the digital revolution has moved gambling from traditional bookmaker shops into the computers, phones and tablets of millions of Europeans. And with its increasing popularity comes an even greater responsibility to ensure a safer and consistent online gambling environment. The challenge is obvious.”