A new study by the European Parliament has found that deepening EU digital single market (DSM) rules to include online gambling could deliver nearly €6 billion in savings for EU consumers and businesses per year and fill existing gaps in Europe’s consumer protection framework. The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) welcomes the findings and calls on EU policy makers to introduce a single set of rules for online gambling.
The study, presented to the Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) during its session on 2-3 September, evaluated the benefits of existing DSM measures and outlined the potential economic benefits for citizens and businesses by further deepening DSM policies.
The study found that the EU could potentially generate €5.6 billion per year in societal welfare and consumer benefits by including online gambling – a sector worth €20 billion per year – in the DSM. This would be done by addressing current gaps in consumer protection – which are a result of 28 different sets of national gambling policies which diverge significantly and create unnecessary national barriers.
In 2014, the European Commission recognised this problem and issued a non-binding Recommendation to EU Member States aimed at creating a more consistent consumer protection basis for the 12 million Europeans who regularly bet online. But a recent study found that the Recommendation has been implemented fully by only one EU Member State and EU consumers are being exposed to varying degrees of consumer protection – many of which are inadequate.
Alongside the diverging national rules for consumer protection in online gambling, national enforcement tools like geo-blockings and payment-blockings jeopardise consumer safety by pushing EU consumers towards betting websites operated outside the jurisdiction and reach of the EU. The introduction of a single set of rules applicable across all Member States would correct this, help better regulate Europe’s online gambling activities and provide higher standards of consumer protection.
The creation of a single rulebook for online gambling would also lessen significant administrative duplication for European businesses. EGBA member companies are based in the EU and offer online betting services across 19 Member States and collectively hold more than 134 online betting licenses to do so – averaging 22 licenses per company, each with their own compliance requirements.
“Introducing a single set of rules for online betting in the EU makes perfect sense – it would improve the regulation of the sector, save significant money for both consumers and companies and help better protect consumers. That is why EGBA is calling on EU policymakers to ensure that the Digital Single Market benefits the 12 million Europeans who bet online.” – Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, EGBA.
European Union Updates Country List for Stricter AML Checks
The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union (EU), has updated its list of high-risk countries, from which players should be subjected to stricter customer checks by gambling operators.
Based on Directive (EU) 2015/849, Article 9, the Commission identifies any high-risk third countries that have strategic deficiencies in their regime on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.
As such, operators based in the EU that are offering services to these countries or dealing with players from these nations are obliged to carry out heightened vigilance checks.
The list was first published in July 2016 and has been updated a number of times as further countries of concern are identified and flagged by the Commission.
The latest countries to be added to this list – in an update published last month – include Burkina Faso, the Cayman Islands, Haiti, Jordan, Malo, Morocco, Myanmar, the Philippines, Senegal and South Sudan.
Other nations included on the list include Afghanistan, Barbados, Cambodia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Jamaica, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Vanuatu, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
Games Factory Talents has teamed up with Nordic Game to bring you Nordic Game Talents.
Looking to take your career to the next level in the games industry? Then, Nordic Game Talents is the place to be! Games Factory Talents has teamed up with Nordic Game to bring you Nordic Game Talents.
From Oct 27-29, the online and interactive event is dedicated to recruitment and career building in the creative & games industry within the Nordic region. The event empowers participants to be part of a bigger community and motivates them to explore new paths in achieving their career goals.
Hiring creative & games studios – Supercell, Funcom, Panzerdog, Tactile Games, Gamecan, Fingersoft, Dazzle Rocks, Redhill Games to name a few from the Nordic region will be participating in the event. These studios will share information on their latest projects, work culture and what it takes to be part of their team. The individual games associations from Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Estonia will share insights through live sessions on the booming games industry in their respective countries. Career development topics pertinent to job seekers like – How to have a successful first interview, Creative Portfolio reviews will also be discussed.
Experienced game industry professionals and individuals beginning their careers from around the world are welcome to join the event. One-to-one interviews with the hiring studios can be scheduled through the event platform. A great opportunity to get to know the studios and network with game professionals from around the world.
Participating in the event
As a job seeker attending Nordic Game Talents, take a few minutes to fill out a simple registration form. After filling the registration form you will receive a link to the online event platform – PINE, to join the event on 27th October. Participants joining Nordic Game Talents will also receive a free-of-charge pass to the Nordic Game Conference.
About Games Factory Talents
A Helsinki-based talent attraction agency dedicated to the games & creative industry. Our services include direct recruitment, organizing game job fairs and managing a community of game industry professionals through our GameDev Talent Board.
To learn more about Games Factory Talents visit – Games Factory Talents
EC Rejects Call to Reform Expert Group on Gambling
The European Commission (EC) has stated that will not support the re-establishment of an “Expert Group on Online Gambling” – a cross member state collaborative body supported by 14 regulatory agencies.
Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) published the EC’s response to a letter sent by KSA Chairman Rene Jansen on behalf of European regulators requesting to reinstate the group which had been decommissioned in 2018.
Regulators backed the reinstatement of an Expert Group to exchange knowledge and best practices with regards to governing gambling and protecting national consumers from risks and harms.
Jansen’s letter further stated that regulatory cooperation was required to secure greater oversight on technical requirements and to better evaluate the legislative outcomes of member-states governing their regulated gambling marketplaces.
“The work of the Expert Group was particularly successful. We achieved results that benefited consumers, national authorities and the gambling sector and the active participation in the group also demonstrated that member states are well equipped and willing to achieve positive outcomes together. And we still believe this to be the case,” Jansen said.
Issuing a response, the office of European Commissioner Thierry Breton referred to the EC’s original verdict to decommission the group taken in December 2017.
The expert group was deemed as no longer viable following the European Court of Justice (ECJ) arbitrating 30 cases related to gambling, in which all casework stated that national regulations superseded EU rules.
The EC underscored that gambling laws and standards would be maintained as the domain of the individual member state – which can choose to apply its legislative preferences to taxation, the licensing of market incumbents, industry standards and how a member state should protect its national consumers from harms.
The Commission can only intervene on member-states gambling laws if they are deemed to have breached the wider EU policies on market competition, fair business policies and state aid rules.
Replying to Jansen’s concerns, the EC responded that gambling regulators had the support of individual policy units carrying comprehensive oversight on “anti-money laundering (DG FISMA), consumer and youth protection (DG JUST), the prevention of addiction (DG SANTE) or issues of taxation (DG TAXUD)”.
“At this stage, our Directorate General does not intend to reverse this decision and to reinstate the Expert Group on Gambling Services under its responsibility,” the EC letter concluded.
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