The European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA) has thrown the weight of its support behind calls by 14 EU Member States to re-establish the EU Commission-mandated EU Expert Group on Gambling to facilitate and support cooperation between gambling authorities in the EU.
The calls, first formally presented by Chairperson of the Dutch Gambling Authority, René Jansen are “fully supported” by the Association, to “help encourage and support more common and joined-up approaches towards regulating Europe’s gambling market”.
Explaining the reasons for its backing of the re-establishment, the EGBA stated that the Expert Group provided a platform for gambling regulators to exchange information, share best practices and work together on joint initiatives, such as the European Commission’s 2014 Recommendation on consumer protection in online gambling.
The Association finds that the absence of the dedicated group means that, “unlike any other consumer market, there is currently no formal framework for regulatory cooperation at EU-level”.
This is despite the fact that the gambling market in Europe is worth €100 billion annually, with many million of Europeans playing, according to the EGBA.
The EGBA also added that it has previously called on the Commission to reinstate the Expert Group and stated that it believed that the challenges facing gambling regulation mean that formal and structured regulatory cooperation between EU Member States is even more important to help protect European consumers.
“There is currently no EU framework for gambling regulators to even communicate, let alone to jointly tackle the big issue affecting Europe’s online gambling sector”, explained Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of the EGBA.
“We therefore welcome the strong commitment to regulatory cooperation and call to action from the majority of Europe’s gambling regulators. The message to the European Commission is clear: both gambling regulators and the sector itself are united in support of the Expert Group and call upon the Commission to reinstate the Expert Group”.
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