Different and often conflicting gambling regulations across the EU states has been a problem for both players and gambling operators. Keeping this in mind, , the secretary general of the European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA) is seeking common regulations across the region. He called on the EU to standardize gambling regulations in all member states- which includes tougher laws and better management of cross-border online platforms.
He was writing for news outlet Politico.eu, Haijer said that the EU policy-makers need to put cross-border legislation in place that allows for consumer safeguards, adequate protections, and standardization of gambling platform. He said that about 12 million online gamblers in the EU were subject to poor service from the operators because of inconsistent regulations in different countries.
Citing that the internet doesn’t have any national borders, he wrote that Europeans could easily play on a gambling website based in a country different than the one they reside. These foreign firms follow different laws and regulations, and they may not be consistent with the policies of the home country.
A study by City University London has painted a grim picture of gambling regulations in Europe. The study suggests that only Denmark has fully implemented the gambling regulation guidelines chalked in 2014 by the European Commission. The guidelines were up for review in 2017, but that has since been delayed.
Haijer also highlighted the findings of the University in his article, which suggests that only 14 EU countries currently have measures to self-exclude gamblers. Even these registers are national-only which means that gamblers excluded in one country can easily play in another country or use a foreign-website. Only 13 countries mandate the use of “no underage gambling” sign on gambling adverts.
According to Haijer, “These are major failings in the effort to keep Europe’s citizens and gamblers safe online — and they could easily be avoided.” Some places do not even have basic safeguards in place which is why EGBA is calling for a common, homogenized gambling regulation for Europe. He added that these safeguards would be especially beneficial to vulnerable groups like problem gamblers and miners.
The European Court of Justice does not enforce gambling regulations on member’s post-2018. The EGBA published “Manifesto- an EU Framework for Online Gambling 2.0” in December 2018, which is with the European Commission for consideration. The EGBA supports the use of artificial intelligence to protect problem gamblers.