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European Parliament Study: Including Online Gambling In EU Digital Single Market Benefits Consumers

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European Parliament Study: Including Online Gambling In EU Digital Single Market Benefits Consumers
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 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.

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European Union

EGBA Hails EC’s Proposal for European Digital Identity

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EGBA Hails EC’s Proposal for European Digital Identity
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The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has hailed the the European Commission’s (EC) proposals to initiate a European digital identity, namely, in the form of an electronic identity wallet (e-ID).

The proposed e-ID will facilitate an easy access for EU citizens to online public and private services. EGBA forecasts that the new system will bring about a solid identity verification process for many online sectors in Europe, including online gambling.

As per EC’s new proposals, EU citizens can utilise the new e-ID anywhere in the EU to identify and authenticate themselves for availing online services in both public and private sectors.

Ekaterina Hartmann, EGBA Director, said:

“An ever-increasing number of Europeans are using online services and a common electronic identification method would help them to access online services in a practical, secure way which safeguards their data. We welcome the proposal for a Europe-wide e-ID, which would have significant positive impacts on the way KYC is conducted in Europe’s online gambling sector and help establish more common approaches to identity verification. An EU e-ID would, for example, help strengthen existing processes to prevent minors from accessing online gambling and to fight fraud and money laundering.”

EGBA concludes that the new eID would benefit both customers and gaming operators. Customers can now verify their identity in an easy and secure manner. Operators now have a streamlined method for compliance, which makes it the job of dealing with with the regulations of different  jurisdictions easier.

It is estimated the implementation of a European e-ID could generate 9.6 billion euros in benefits for the EU economy and create up to 27,000 jobs over the next five years.

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European Union

EGBA Welcomes European Commission’s Proposal for Digital Services Act

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EGBA Welcomes European Commission’s Proposal for Digital Services Act
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The European Commission has published its long-awaited legislative proposal for a Digital Service Act (DSA), which inter alia introduces rules for regulating large digital platforms and ensuring that markets impacted by digital gatekeepers remain fair and competitive.

EGBA welcomes the Commission’s proposal and its wider effort to deepen the European Digital Single Market (DSM) which is reflected in the comprehensiveness of its flagship DSA proposal.

The proposal will next be presented to the European Parliament and the Council, the two co-legislators of the EU, who will review the proposal and suggest amendments before coming to a joint agreement on the final contents of the legislation.

“We welcome the Commission’s Digital Services Act and hope this will be the beginning of renewed efforts by the Commission to address many of the regulatory challenges which impact on companies and consumers who buy and sell services in the digital space. One of the challenges we see in Europe’s online gambling sector is the need for more consistent regulations in the EU, particularly in respect to customer protection, and the Commission needs to step up to address the current fragmentation,” Maarten Haijer, Secretary-General of EGBA, said.

 

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Eastern Europe

MONEYVAL: Georgia should increase the use of financial intelligence in casino industry

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MONEYVAL: Georgia should increase the use of financial intelligence in casino industry
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The Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering body MONEYVAL has urged the Georgian authorities to strengthen the practical application of their measures to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism. In a new report it calls for making more efforts to use financial intelligence to detect and investigate money laundering, as well as for strengthening the supervision and regulation focusing on the high-risk non-financial sectors, especially casinos. The report assesses the effectiveness of Georgia’s system for countering money laundering and financing of terrorism system and its level of compliance with Recommendations issued in 2012 by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The report acknowledges that Georgia displays a fair understanding of many of its money laundering and terrorism financing risks. Shortcomings exist regarding identification, in-depth analysis and understanding of some threats, vulnerabilities and risks. Notably, the understanding of risks needs to be developed further in the following areas: use of cash in the economy; the real estate sector; trade-based money laundering and terrorism financing (including in free industrial zones of Georgia); the activities of legal persons; and the use of non-profit organisations (NPOs). Read the report here.

 

Source: coe.int

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