The leadership of Europe’s biggest online gambling firms have outlined their ‘collective ambitions’ to foster a stronger culture supporting safer gambling across all European markets.
The leadership mandate was published by the European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA) – the Brussels-based trade body charged with representing online gambling at an EU business and legislative level.
A letter co-signed by John Coates (joint CEO bet365), Jesper Svensson (Betsson AB), Jette Nygaard-Andersen (Entain Plc), Henrik Tjärnström, (Kindred Group) and Patrick Jonker (MD of William Hill International) outlined collective objectives.
“We believe that, as leading companies of Europe’s online gambling sector, we have a responsibility to take the lead in fostering a stronger culture of safer gambling across our sector and promoting a more sustainable future,” the CEOs forward statement read.
A stronger focus on sustainability and conduct is required for Europe to maintain well-functioning and well-regulated markets – recognised as the best outcome for society stakeholders and to safeguard consumers against encroachments made by black market actors.
As a result, leadership of the five operators have committed to publishing a combined European sustainability report that will be compiled and published by the EGBA.
The events of 2020 were marked as a transformative period for the operators, as their leadership took “several actions to strengthen the protection of our players and the responsibility of our advertising during this time”.
The collective stated that their businesses were at the frontline of ‘raising the bar on safer gambling’ requirements, as their companies had developed innovative tools, monitoring systems and the use of predictive modelling to safeguard customers.
It continued: “We believe that we are witnessing a monumental shift in this regard, as game-changing technology is allowing us to detect the subtle changes in behaviours which may suggest a customer is experiencing or is at risk of gambling harm.”
Entering a new decade of responsibilities, the CEO collective also outlined their firm’s individual duties to ‘support Europe’s sports ecosystem’.
Outlined as a key governance objective, leadership stated that their businesses had been re-organised to “contribute towards a more positive future for society”, providing better outcomes.
Leadership embraces all ongoing processes to regulate online gambling, as individual markets will provide legal clarity for business and consumers.
Regulatory progress allows for “us operators to increase our contribution to states revenues, employment, and the financing of the sports economy and other community initiatives” – in which the development of European grassroots sports have been prioritised by the operators.
Moving forward, the collective seeks to ‘set the highest bar tracking’ the industry’s progress towards sustainability, with transparency ensured by the EGBA reports.
Despite obstacles, leadership outlined that they would strive to open dialogue with regulators and national stakeholders on safer gambling and protecting consumers from harms.
“This is the spirit in which we unite in EGBA: leading the way in driving standards upwards, being open and transparent about our work and creating a virtuous and testing dynamic across the entire online gambling sector.
“This spirit has also driven us to develop this annual sustainability report, as we are committed to challenging the status quo, set a high bar in protecting consumers, and continuously track our progress.
“Transparency, accountability, and collaboration are at the core of this approach as we aim to encourage all willing operators to join us on this journey, in a race to the top in terms of consumer protection.”