René Jansen/ Kansspelautoriteit

On behalf of multiple European gambling authorities, René Jansen, Executive Chairman of the Netherlands Gambling Authority (Kansspelautoriteit) and recently appointed Chairman of the Gaming Regulators European Forum (GREF), has written to European Commissioner Thierry Breton to request the reestablishment of the defunct EU expert group for gambling, he revealed on Thursday.

Speaking at the invitation of the EGBA, as a “passionate supporter of cross-border cooperation between regulators”, the recently appointed Chairman explained he is working to “breathe new life” into the EC expert group on online gambling.

It comes as a part of what he identifies as a “key focal point” of his drive to develop GREF into an “even more” useful partnership, to facilitate the success of the newly established working group focusing on enforcement of international cooperation.

The expert group, established in 2013 under the name Expert Group on Gambling Services was a cross-border organisation tasked with establishing cooperation between Member States’ authorities and the Commission on matters relating to gambling services.

Additionally, it was tasked with advising and assisting the EU Commission in preparing and implementing gambling policy initiatives, monitoring the development of policies and emerging issues in the industry, and bringing out the exchange of experience and good practice.

A final meeting of the group was held in December 2018, and its subsequent demise was at the time decried by iGaming stakeholders including the EGBA, which acknowledged that the Expert Group had made “little progress” on its goal of cross-border harmonisation of gambling rules, but insisted that it was a popular mechanism amongst regulators for fostering cooperation.

Since then, it seems the Association has remained a staunch proponent of the expert group, explaining on social media that it “fully agrees” with Mr Jansen’s call to reintroduce it, and that it was pleased to hear that 14 gambling authorities joined the calls.

“We fully support this call! Many of the issues affecting both gambling regulators and the industry in Europe are cross-border – and require common solutions”, it commented.

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