European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) recently called on the European Union (EU) to review their approach to gambling and help create more responsive and flexible policies for the industry.
New call for action
The EGBA suggests that a previous recommendation was “somewhat paradoxical” as it as soft and non-binding on the industry. It could not achieve its goals efficiently by getting all member states on the same page about providing higher levels of protection for online gamers. The group also focused on the cross-border nature of gambling regulations which makes them harder to adhere to and more difficult to navigate.
According to the group, a new set of regulations should be announced for the EU, which should be “responsive, flexible, and borderless.” It suggests that national borders should not stop standardized regulations from reaching all corners of the Union.
City University of London’s Dr. Margaret Carran suggests that diverging rules for online gaming in different parts of the EU create issues for consumer protection. She added that even though national regulators want to bring the best player protections for their residents, they are often unable to do so because of differences in approaching the solution. A patchwork for regulation could be “difficult to justify” for the industry.
A new comprehensive EU policy
According to the report, the EU needs a more comprehensive policy that could benefit online gamblers as well as minors and protect them from gambling-related harm. Online gambling has a cross-border nature, but policy is only restricted to national borders. The current standards in the EU are not adequate, and there is no formal infrastructure that dictates regulatory cooperation between different member states.
Secretary-general Maarten Haijer said that new institutions in the EU are shifting towards the single market-focused because of the economy’s shift towards digitalization. The Union will have to adopt a similar approach for the gambling industry as well which is leveraging the technological development of the internet to grow beyond national borders. This is essential for adequate protections for all EU consumers.
Haijer also talked about the rights of consumers, business interests, and how updated online regulation could help the industry flourish. He added that he recognizes the challenges of the current gambling scenario which has burst out of traditional gambling shops to the mobile devices of millions of people. With such massive popularity of online gambling, the regulation should be more proactive too.