Ahead of the publication of European Commission’s consumer strategy, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has called for the introduction of a specific single set of consumer rights that apply to the online gambling sector.
In its submission to the roadmap, the EGBA highlighted the reasons why a specific single set of consumer rights for the online gambling sector would guarantee a high level of player protection, transparency, legal certainty and increased security for online betting consumers.
Citing recommendations made in a study commissioned by the EGBA, the trade body noted that only six countries within the European Union have specific legislative rules for protecting minors from viewing gambling advertisements.
In its submission, the EGBA said: “The lack of regulatory consistency jeopardises online players’ safety, as it exposes them to the unregulated and unsafe websites of the black market, which profits to the detriment of the European economy. EGBA advocates sector-specific EU regulation for consumer and minor protection.
“There are simple rules that can be proposed, to ensure that online players, minors and players who are at risk are equally protected.
“Greater regulatory cooperation between Member States can also facilitate the dialogue to achieve harmonisation. To this end EGBA regrets the dissolvement of the European expert group for online gambling, as national gambling regulators are deprived from the opportunity to meet and exchange in the framework of a common platform.”
The EGBA highlighted the necessity of heightened player protection measures, which it stated can be achieved through cross-border cooperation on consumer rights.
Its submission concluded: “In light of a new European Consumer Agenda, we believe that introducing a specific single set of consumer rights that apply to the online gambling sector will guarantee a high level of protection for consumers, increase transparency and legal certainty and lead to balanced and fair contract terms and an overall increased security for the player.”