The European Commission’s Internal Market Commissioner, Thierry Breton, has notified a group of European gambling authorities that the governing body has no plans to re-establish the EU Expert Group on Gambling.
This comes after the European Gaming and Betting Association last month backed requests from 14 member states’ gaming authorities to re-establish the organisation in a letter to the European Commission.
“The work of the Expert Group was particularly successful,” it added, implying that it produced results that “benefited consumers, national authorities, and the gambling sector.”
It went on to say that active engagement in the group “demonstrated that member states are well equipped and willing to achieve positive outcomes together,” and that “we still believe this to be the case.”
Re-establishment plan backed by EGBA
The EGBA and member states backed the re-establishment plan, claiming that the Expert Group will serve to encourage and support more uniform and coordinated methods to regulating Europe’s gambling market.
The European Commission said that there is no cause to resurrect the Expert Group on Gambling, and that the supervisors should instead turn to other directorates-general of the organisation for specific aspects of the games of chance regulation.
“At this stage, our directorate general does not intend to reverse this decision and to reinstate the Expert Group on gambling services under its responsibility,” the European Commission responded.
It continued: “However, the letter you sent us addresses many different policy issues which are related to gambling but fall under the responsibility of other Commission services, such as in the areas of anti-money laundering, consumer and youth protection, the prevention of addiction or issues of taxation.
“I therefore encourage you to get in touch with these DGs for those matters that fall under their competency. Thank you very much for your understanding.”
Forum for gambling regulators
Previously, the group served as a forum for gambling regulators to share information, best practises, and collaborate on joint efforts, such as the Commission’s 2014 report on online gaming consumer protection.
The EU Expert Group on Gambling, which included members from regional gambling authorities, was dismantled by the Commission in 2018, despite the fact that regulators deemed it a success.