EGBA welcomes approval of European Digital Identity

It is expected that the EU Council of Ministers will endorse the regulation by this summer.
It is expected that the EU Council of Ministers will endorse the regulation by this summer.

The European Parliament has approved plans for a standardised e-ID.

Belgium.- The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has welcomed the European Parliament’s approval of plans to introduce a standardised method of electronic identification across the EU. The European Digital Identity (e-ID) is intended to allow citizens to easily validate their identity online.

The EGBA described the approval as a significant milestone in the journey towards a “more secure and inclusive digital environment for all citizens across the European Union (EU)”. It said the e-ID would be a transformative tool that addresses several concerns, including among gambling operators.

According to the regulation, the e-ID will allow citizens to identify and authenticate themselves online without having to resort to commercial providers, thus reducing concerns about the sharing of consumer data with third-party platforms. The EGBA said the method will ensure greater privacy protection while improving security for both consumers and businesses by reducing the risk of identity theft and fraud.

“This streamlined approach will not only increase user confidence in digital transactions but will also reduce costs and administration for businesses, including gambling operators, by providing a singular verification tool they can use across the EU, instead of paying high fees for the use of commercial databases,” the EGBA said.

However, it noted that the success of the initiative will depend on a high participation rate among citizens. The use of the e-ID will be voluntary for citizens and businesses, including gambling operators. Thus, gambling operators have the flexibility to decide whether they want to integrate the e-ID tool into their know-your-customer processes.

The EGBA has been encouraging the EU institutions to ensure that businesses, including gambling operators, can access and use the e-ID and benefit from its use. It noted that for the online gambling sector, the e-ID holds particular significance, as it provides players with an easy, secure, trustworthy and singular option to confirm their identity in the EU.

EGBA secretary general Maarten Haijer said: “We welcome the European Parliament’s approval of a unified digital identity framework and are confident that the use of the new e-ID in our sector will lead to a more seamless and trustworthy online experience for players and help to reduce costs and administration for gambling operators.

“This innovative tool represents an important step towards building a more secure and user-friendly digital ecosystem, aligning with EGBA’s core objectives of promoting integrity, transparency, and a safe, consumer-centric playing environment.”

The e-ID must still be formally endorsed by the EU Council of Ministers before its adoption. This is expected by the summer 2024. The regulation will automatically apply across all EU member states from the moment of its adoption.

EGBA welcomes plans for Frankfurt-based AML authority

Meanwhile, the EGBA has also responded favourably to the European Council’s decision to establish a base of operations for the new European Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) in the German city of Frankfurt.

The AMLA is due to start work in the middle of next year and will have a staff of around 400. It will undertake direct and indirect supervision of AML activities at EU entities, including major institutions. The aim is to harmonise the application of AML regulations across all EU member states. This work will include the creation of a standardised reporting template for Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs), which the gambling sector will have to adhere to.

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