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COVID-19: European Gambling Associations Issue Guidance On Safer Online Gambling And Responsible Advertising

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EGBA: New Analysis Shows EGBA’s Responsible Advertising Code Can Reinforce National Advertising Rules
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With increasing global concern about the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the health, safety and well-being of the general public is of utmost concern.

During this particularly concerning time for citizens online gambling companies should act socially responsible and ensure that those Europeans who choose to gamble online can continue do so in a safe and secure environment.

In this respect, we strongly oppose the apparent reference to the coronavirus in some recent gambling advertising and urge all online gambling companies to ensure that their:

  • Advertising does not refer to the coronavirus, World Health Organisation (WHO) coronavirus-related statements and/or any other coronavirus-related developments.
  • Advertising does not portray gambling as a solution to social, personal or financial problems or invites customers to gamble online as a solution to boredom.
  • Advertising and websites contain signposted information about minimum age restrictions, national problem gambling helplines and national self-exclusion registers.
  • Customers are closely monitored for problematic gambling behaviour, in compliance with GDPR provisions, and step up interventions when appropriate.
  • Websites contain robust and rigorously enforced Know Your Customer (KYC) measures to verify the identity of new customers and prevent minors from gambling.
  • Websites contain responsible gambling tools – such as deposit limits and self-exclusion tools – which are actively promoted and visible.

These measures build on actions already being taken by European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) members and others as part of their safer gambling efforts and are in accordance with the European Commission’s “Recommendation 2014/478/EU on consumer protection in online gambling” which provides essential guidelines on safer gambling and responsible commercial communications for online gambling.

We urge online gambling companies to share this information to any affiliate companies they work with and to ensure their brands are not being promoted in an unethical and socially irresponsible manner.

This statement is supported by the following European online gambling associations

AFJEL – Association Française des Opérateurs de Jeu en Ligne (France); APAJO – Associação Portuguesa de Apostas e Jogos Online (Portugal); BAGO – Belgian Association of Gaming Operators (Belgium); BGC – Betting and Gaming Council (UK); BOS – Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (Sweden); DOCV – Deutscher Online Casinoverband (Germany); DOGA – Danish Online Gambling Association (Denmark); DSWV – Deutscher Sportwettenverband (Germany); EGBA – European Gaming and Betting Association (Belgium); IBIA – International Betting Integrity Association (Belgium); iGEN – iGaming European Network (Malta); Jdigital– Asociación Española de Juego Digital (Spain); LOGiCO – Lega Operatori di Gioco su Canale Online (Italy); NBO – Norsk Bransjeforening for Onlinespill (Norway); OVWG – Österreichische Vereinigung für Wetten & Glücksspiel (Austria); and Speel Verantwoord (Netherlands).

EGBA is committed to driving standards across the online gambling sector and these are important measures which we think gambling companies should adopt to protect their customers and ensure their advertising is conducted in an ethical and socially responsible way. We urge all online gambling companies to adhere to them.” – Maarten Haijer, Secretary General (EGBA).

About EGBA
The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) is the Brussels-based trade association representing the leading online gaming and betting operators established, licensed and regulated within the EU, including bet365, Betsson Group, GVC Holdings PLC, Kindred Group Plc, and William Hill. The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (BOS) is an affiliate member of EGBA. EGBA works together with national and EU authorities and other stakeholders towards a well-regulated online gambling market which provides a high level of consumer protection and takes into account the reality of the digital economy and consumer demand. Today, EGBA’s member companies together have more than 16.5 million customers in Europe.

Source:EGBA

Industry News

GLI Appoints Alberto Ruiz-Ocaña as New Business Development Manager for EMEA

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Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) has appointed Alberto Ruiz-Ocaña as new Business Development Manager for EMEA.

Ruiz-Ocaña has more than 10 years of experience in licensing, compliance, and helping businesses develop and implement successful business strategies. His skills will help enable growth in European and LATAM markets. As Business Development Manager for EMEA, he will be focused on developing opportunities for GLI with new clients across all sectors of the industry including, online, land-based and VLT Lottery.

“Alberto is a great addition to the growing GLI EMEA team, and his experience and contacts, particularly in online gaming, will provide GLI with new opportunities in a rapidly expanding market. His language skills will be beneficial to many of our European clients, which will help us build even more contacts and clients in the EMEA markets,” James Illingworth, Vice President Sales for GLI EMEA, said.

“I am really excited to be joining an industry-leading and respected global company. The EMEA team has already made me feel very welcome, and I look forward to helping them and GLI go from strength to strength,” Alberto said.

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Industry News

Betixon Secures Approval to Launch its Games in Dutch iGaming Market

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Online casino content developer Betixon has secured approval to launch its games in the recently regulated Dutch iGaming market.

Certified by national regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), Betixon will now be able to provide titles such as Boots of Luck, Wild Wolf, Book of Sheba, Vampire Call, Age of Halvar and Reign of Zeus to licensed operators in the Netherlands.

Betixon said it has already lined up a number of strategic partners in the country and will begin to roll out its content shortly. Talks are ongoing to go live with other operators active in the market.

The developer is also certified to offer games in Great Britain, Lithuania, Estonia, Italy, Colombia and Romania.

Lior Cohen, chief executive officer at Betixon, said: “The Netherlands is one of the most important markets in Europe and we believe that it will grow at a rapid rate in the coming months and years now that a proper regulatory framework is in place.

“Our slots have been designed to deliver an exceptional player experience on mobile and each game is packed with eye-catching graphics and animations that we combine with smart math and mechanics to ensure players are entertained with every spin.

“We will be going live with our first operators shortly and looking forward to partnering with more as we establish Betixon as a leading content provider in the Dutch market.”

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Industry News

New Study: Ten EU Member States Strengthened Consumer Protection Rules for Online Gambling Since 2018, But Significant Fragmentation and Gaps Remain

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A new study has found 10 EU Member States have made progress in strengthening their consumer protection rules for online gambling since 2018, although significant fragmentation and gaps in how these rules are implemented still remain.

The study, published by the City, University of London (CUL), reviewed specific aspects of the consumer protection rules in EU Member States, including know your customer requirements, the protection of minors, safer gambling and treatment support, and assessed whether these rules are becoming similar or not.

The CUL study concludes that while most Member States have adopted similar approaches towards consumer protection, there are significant differences in how national rules are designed or implemented and in some Member States specific consumer protection rules for online gambling are missing. For example, the study found that while 16 Member States have established a national self-exclusion register for online gambling, how gamblers are added to these registers and the duration of their self-exclusion varies significantly, and not all these Member States have rules which prohibit gambling advertising being sent to those who are self-excluded.

The study is an update to a previous study which was published by CUL in 2018. Both studies were commissioned by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) for the purpose of contributing to research knowledge about the safer gambling regulations which exist in the EU and raising awareness about the level of consumer protection offered to EU citizens in respect to online gambling.

Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA, said: “We welcome the progress made in strengthening the consumer protection rules in EU member states. In several areas, regulatory principles are converging, but there is increasing fragmentation in how the rules are implemented and this creates a complicated compliance and enforcement map for Europe’s gambling regulators and operators, while evidently also not benefiting the consumer. A more standardised regulatory framework would surely benefit all. While regulations and enforcement are extremely important, the study also highlights that more could be done to strengthen prevention measures and ensure that those who are affected by harm are signposted to relevant helplines and treatment centres.”

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