The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has achieved its goal of creating a cross-continental market of harm standard for the betting industry.
Submitted by the trade organisation to the Committee for Standardisation (CEN) just over a month ago, the proposal has now been approved by the European standards development body.
EGBA has long argued that there should be a standardised list of indicative behaviours of harm to combat issues faced by European operators in terms of tackling gambling harms.
“We’re delighted that CEN has approved EGBA’s proposal to establish a standardised list of markers of harm, and we thank its members for their support,” said Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, EGBA.
“This decision is a milestone and a significant step forward for safer gambling in Europe. We also thank our members for their strong commitment to safer gambling and unwavering support to make this proposal possible.”
The ultimate aim of the new markers of harm standard and list of behaviours is to support safer online gambling and strengthen player protection across European betting markets.
General behaviours used as indicators of harmful gambling habits are changes in online play, such as speed, time and duration of play.
Markers of harm are already utilised by gambling operators, but as EGBA has noted, there is no clearly defined list of what these indicators are which can be accessed by national and international operators throughout different European countries.
CEN’s vote took place last month, shortly after EGBA’s initial proposal, and development of the standard will be informed via discussions between national delegations and gambling authorities, operators, consumer organisations, health experts and academics.
The standard is expected to come into effect later this quarter, and although it will be a voluntary tool, EGBA asserts that it ‘can also be made legally binding through legislation’.
Haijer concluded: “The CEN process will provide a unique and valuable opportunity for key European stakeholders to pull together their resources and expertise to support safer gambling. We look forward to contributing the sector’s knowledge and experience to the process.”