Egba calls for european commission action on igaming harmonization

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) reportedly held a special event on Tuesday to formerly ask the European Commission to launch a new effort that would bring about better continental consistency in terms of the regulation of online gambling.

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Insufficient consumer protections:
According to a Thursday report from European Gaming Media and Events, the trade group for the online gaming and sportsbetting industry stated that Commission Recommendation 2014/478/EU has not led to sufficiently high standards of consumer protections due a provision that makes it only voluntarily enforceable by the 28 individual nations of the European Union.

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National interests predominate:
As a result, the Brussels-based organization reportedly cited researcher Margaret Carran as stating that ‘varying national interests’ have not led to ‘a high level of consumer protection’ as national interests have often taken precedence over European Union-wide frameworks.

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Carran reportedly told European Gaming Media and Events…
“If we think [the European Commission] wanted to achieve harmonization [but] the Recommendation has not done so. State-to-state regulations are extremely divergent. Even if regulation appears to be similar, in detail they are still very different.”

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Manifesto calling for change:
Therefore, the EGBA reportedly released its An EU Framework for Online Gambling 2.0 manifesto earlier this week in which it called on the European Commission to ‘urgently’ review the implementation of Commission Recommendation 2014/478/EU in order to produce ‘a coherent cooperation framework’ while ensuring that bloc-wide iGaming regulations are ‘fully enforced’. The group also purportedly declared that it would like the rules changed so that online operators will be able to offer services to the almost 512 million inhabitants of the European Union ‘without undue administrative burdens’.

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Minimum age differences:
As an example of the current state of affairs, Jesper Karrbrink (pictured), Chief Executive Officer for Stockholm-headquartered Mr Green and Company AB, reportedly detailed that even fundamental rules such as the minimum gambling age differ between nations in the European Union.  As such, citizens can gamble at 18 in the United Kingdom, France and Germany while their counterparts in Greece must wait another five years before legally placing a wager.
Karrbrink reportedly told European Gaming Media and Events…
“We are experiencing a digital revolution. Online gaming companies have extra responsibility for players and consumers, especially for the population of problem gamblers. We need corporate leadership and regulations that reflect the digital world we are living in.

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We are one of the few industries that are asking for more regulation, our customers should have more protection than other consumers. This is not the case today.”
‘Level playing field’ desires:
Maris Bonello, Head of Player Sustainability, Research and Integrity for Maltese iGaming firm Kindred Group, reportedly echoed Karrbrink’s opinion by proclaiming that ‘a practical level playing field for online gambling regulation is needed’ after the next European Commission is appointed following parliamentary elections that are scheduled for May 23.