The European Union (EU) will need to step up its efforts to guarantee the safety of gambling customers on the territory of each Member State, a new report by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) suggests.
EGBA Addresses Gaming Head On
The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has launched an appeal to EU Member States to step up their efforts in protecting gamers from coming in the way of gaming harm. In fact, the report issued by the watchdog revealed that the newly-regulated Danish market is the only country in the union to fully protect customers.
[Press Release] Europeans are not fully protected by EU rules for online gambling – study: https://t.co/0n7nxANh4b EGBA calls on EU policymakers to introduce mandatory rules that will ensure better protection for players. #EU #gambling #consumers #protection
— EGBA (@EUgambling) December 7, 2018
According to the “Consumer Protection in EU Online Gambling Regulation”, EU Member States are rampantly ignoring safety measures, which leads to inadequate consumer protection. The review conducted by the City University London has called for a closer adherence to the European Commission Recommendation 2014/478/EU, which addresses the introduction of adequate consumer protection measures.
EGBA has conducted a specific review that identified particular shortages in the level of protection, citing Denmark as the only EU Member State to have actually managed to provide its customers with the legally mandated level of protection.
Next steps to ensure gambling advert is responsible: 1️⃣regulators and operators to work together2️⃣further research on responsible gambling adverts and implementation of those conclusions. These are some of the key takeaways of the @EUgambling regulators meeting we moderated today pic.twitter.com/sPmdTlGvZb
— International Betting Integrity Association (@IBIA_bet) December 6, 2018
The EGBA pointed out that countries, such as Ireland and Slovenia have taken no measures in relation to online gambling, with the organization concluding that the idea behind the EC Recommendation has ultimately fallen short of the mark.
The legal regulation of online gambling and their practical interpretations continue to substantially diverge between member states exposing online players to varied levels of protection.
And yet, progress has been made. The European Union has 25 Member States that require customers to register accounts before playing and 22 to verify their identity before they can actually set up their accounts.
The only jurisdictions in the European Union not to allow gamers to gamble before they have verified their identities are Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal and Slovakia.
Self-Exclusion and Minors
Another worrying issue from EGBA standpoint is the protection of minors who are still at a risk to being exposed to gambling advertisement across the European Union. EGBA also addressed the need for introducing self-exclusion schemes and the longevity of the measure, which, in France, can take up to three years before a gamer can participate in gambling activities again.
Panel discussion now on gambling advertising with representatives from gambling authorities, academia, addiction treatment, sponsorship, &operators: we need to strike a balance between the right to advertise licensed, regulated products &protecting consumers, particularly minors. pic.twitter.com/QcNvO6Hum2
— EGBA (@EUgambling) December 6, 2018
The report issued by EGBA isn’t intended as a preliminary step towards a new pan-European measure. The organization presently has no intention to initiate another large-scale operation across the Union.
Rather, EGBA wants to objectively provide information about the progress that has been made in the past four years and highlight the aspects of the industry that need to be addressed.
Understandably, this will require cooperation on a local level, which means that each Member State will have to look for ways to making gaming safer for customers again. Thankfully, there is a good example to follow. With Denmark having managed to fully-protect consumers, other EU members would do well to follow the country’s example.
The EU has already created its gaming standardization body, which will hopefully help the EBGA-issue recommendations to be put in place.