EGBA backs EC proposal for digital services legislation

The EGBA has called for more pan-European rules.
The EGBA has called for more pan-European rules.

The gaming industry association has welcomed proposals from the European Commission.

Belgium.- The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has welcomed the European Commission’s proposals to create a Digital Services Act (DSA) for the European Union.

The EC proposes an act to support the Digital Markets Act to introduce rules for regulating large digital platforms and to ensure markets “remain fair and competitive”.

The proposal will now go to the European Parliament and Council for review before a joint agreement on the final contents is decided.

The commission’s executive vice president, Margrethe Vestager, said: “The two proposals serve one purpose: to make sure that we, as users, have access to a wide choice of safe products and services online. And that businesses operating in Europe can freely and fairly compete online just as they do offline. 

“This is one world. We should be able to do our shopping in a safe manner and trust the news we read. Because what is illegal offline is equally illegal online.”

The DSA will not directly govern online gambling, but the EGBA believes that it will influence “ex-ante rules for digital gatekeepers such as social media companies, the digital liability of online platforms, online  advertising, and notice and take down actions”.

The EGBA has called for common EU-wide rules and initiatives including an e-ID for cross-border digital sectors such as online gaming, as well as a set of pan-European consumer rights for igaming.

Secretary General, Maarten Haijer, said: “We welcome the Commission’s Digital Services Act and hope this will be the beginning of renewed efforts by the Commission to address many of the regulatory challenges which impact on companies and consumers who buy and sell services in the digital space. 

“One of the challenges we see in Europe’s online gambling sector is the need for more consistent regulations in the EU, particularly in respect to customer protection, and the Commission needs to step up to address the current fragmentation.” 

The EGBA has drawn up a series of “essential measures” it says  gambling companies should apply to protect customers as it seeks to reaffirm the industry’s commitment to high safeguards.

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Belgium igaming legislation