Three major gaming associations will collaborate as the Alliance Against Illegal Gambling to campaign for pan-European measures.
Europe.- European Lotteries (EL), World Tote Association (WoTA) and European Casinos Association (ECA) have joined forces to fight illegal gambling in Europe.
The three bodies have formed the Alliance Against Illegal Gambling. Together the alliance represents more than 150 operators in the European gambling and lottery sector.
Its members represent operators that together employ more than 1 million people and contribute €35bn in taxes and charitable donations, the alliance said.
An open letter from the alliance signed by EL 1st vice-president Stéphane Pallez, ECA chairman Per Jaldung and WoTA vice chairman Hans Lord Skarploth identifies illegal gambling as a “threat to the safety of EU citizens”.
The alliance welcomed a new European Commission proposal for a pan-European Digital Services Act.
It said it hoped such legislation would modernise enforcement against illegal gaming by introducing a notice-and-action mechanism to help identify possible illegal online content or activities.
This would help make EU regulators to react more quickly and transparently, it said.
The letter said: “Our alliance sees this as an important improvement in the fight against illegal online gambling offerings and looks forward the enforcement and implementation of these measures by the involved stakeholders to protect the interests of all EU citizens.
“Illegal gambling operators offer their services online to players located in multiple EU Member States without having obtained any license in such national markets.
“These practices are illegal and detrimental for consumers and state budgets, as there is no mutual recognition of national licenses in the gambling sector within the EU and no sector-specific EU legislation in that field is needed.”
EL is the umbrella organisation for lotteries operating in European Union member states. The ECA represents land-based European casinos while WoTA represents tote betting operators globally.
The EC’s proposal for a European Digital Services act has also been welcomed by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA).