The European Parliament (EP) has agreed to help negotiate the Digital Services Act (DSA) provisions in Europe. Part of the regulatory structure created could improve consumer protection and prevent illegal online gambling. This decision was welcomed by European Lotteries (EL) and could – eventually – lead to unified gaming laws.
European Parliament Gets Behind the DSA
The DSA was first proposed by the European Commission in December 2020. It aims to create a safer digital environment that protects digital rights and combats illegal products, services, and content. This could significantly reduce or eradicate black market online gaming, and improve transparency and content moderation.
EP ministers voted to approve the provisions with 530 votes for and 78 against. There were also 80 abstentions. The legislation is now onto the discussion stage, where negotiations will take place between the Council of Europe, the European Commission, and the EP.
This week, the Parliament introduced a number of provisions. These include greater transparency and informed choice regarding the recipients of digital service. They also approved a prohibition on targeting or amplifying techniques that involve the data of minors to display advertising.
The legislation includes a similar ban on the use of data categories that allow the targeting of vulnerable populations. Last, digital service recipients and their representatives must be able to seek compensation for damages that may result from platforms failing to meet due diligence requirements.
EL Continues To Support Change
The Council’s November 2011 general approach to DSA was adopted by the member states. However, the EL has provided consistent input to the legislation regarding the gaming and betting industry.
Arjan van ‘t Veer, the EL Secretary General, “EL Members strongly believe in a high level of consumer protection and are fully committed to the fight against illegal online gambling.”
He added, “The DSA foresees a number of new provisions that could be beneficial to this end. EL hopes that these will be at the disposal of its Members, most notably an improved notice-and-action mechanism, the concept of trusted flaggers, and enhanced consumer protection and know-your-business-customer requirements.”
The organization urged Parliament to ban explicit mentions of online betting services in October. It argued that online gambling was not allowed to be discussed within the contexts of freedom of establishment.
The EL stated that the DSA discussions on gambling ‘implies’ that many national regulations in the gambling industry are not in compliance with EU law.
The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), along with other trade bodies representing startups, SMEs and technology, endorsed a joint letter in November urging legislators not to change the DSA’s “horizontal” approach as proposed by the European Commission.
The latest developments show that European gaming industry stakeholders are satisfied with the scope and intent of the act. Van ‘t Veer added, “Today EL welcomes the support by MEPs, in particular by Rapporteur Christel Schaldemose, to improve the European Commission’s proposal to create a safer digital space for everyone. This marks a milestone update in the regulation of the Internet in the EU.”