The association is pushing for the EU’s new Consumer Agenda to set specific rights for the online gambling sector.
Belgium.- The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) is calling for the European Union’s new Consumer Agenda to introduce a specific single set of consumer rights for Europe’s iGaming sector.
The European Commission (EC) is due to publish its new consumer strategy later this year. The EGBA is now consulting stakeholders on a roadmap to support development of one pan-European set of consumer rights.
It says such a move would guarantee a high level of protection for consumers, increase transparency and legal certainty and lead to fair and balanced contract terms and an overall better security for players in the region.
The EGBA argues that despite online gambling’s cross-border nature, players are not equally protected across the EU because each member state is responsible for developing its own rules.
In its submission to the EC, it says: “The lack of regulatory consistency jeopardises online players’ safety, as it exposes them to the unregulated and unsafe websites of the black market, which profits to the detriment of the European economy.
“EGBA advocates sector-specific EU regulation for consumer and minor protection.
“There are simple rules that can be proposed, to ensure that online players, minors and players who are at risk are equally protected.
“For example, self-excluded players could benefit from a European self-exclusion register, that would prohibit access to any regulated website of the EU.
“To bridge the gap stemming from inconsistent rules on protecting minors from gambling marketing, EGBA has recently published a European code of conduct to establish minimum requirements on responsible advertising.
“Greater regulatory cooperation between member states can also facilitate the dialogue to achieve harmonisation.
“To this end EGBA regrets the dissolvement of the European expert group for online gambling, as national gambling regulators are deprived from the opportunity to meet and exchange in the framework of a common platform.”
The European iGaming market remains the largest in the world. It generated a total €22.2billion in gross gaming revenue in 2018 – for 49.2 per cent of the global online gambling market.
Earlier in the year, the EGBA published the first pan-European code of conduct for gambling advertising.