EGBA – Single Market unity key to protecting online gambling consumers

Maarten Haijer

The European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA) has backed the European Council’s statement urging the incoming EU Commission and Parliament to ‘focus on ensuring the Single Market rules are better implemented and enforced to benefit European consumers’.

The EGBA backs the Council’s statement as ‘timely and justified’, stating that as yet the European Union’s ‘Digital Single Market’ has ‘not been sufficiently developed to enable Europe’s citizens to benefit from the full potential of a truly functional and integrated online Single Market.’

With regards to the online gambling sector, the EGBA maintains its stated position that digital consumers would be better protected by unified EU Single Market provisions implemented across EU member states.

The EGBA has previously pointed to research undertaken by City University of London, which has revealed Europe to be an un-harmonised and unequal marketplace in terms of online gambling legislation and consumer protections.

Furthermore, the EGBA states that EU digital consumers have been left unprotected by the Commission’s decision to stop enforcing EU Single Market laws on online gambling as part of a 2017 legislative revision.

At present, European policy states that the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) will continue to forward gambling-related disputes to be handled independently by national courts.

It is 2019: if the EU is really serious about making the digital single market work for its consumers, then the Commission should enforce EU law in all online sectors, including online gambling. We call on the Commission to fulfil its task as the Guardian of the Treaties by enforcing EU law in the whole online environment. The Commission should also reinstate the regulatory cooperation between Member States in online gambling, to allow structured dialogue and help improve cross-border cooperation and the protection of consumers. It is time for the Commission to act.” – Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA).

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