European Gaming and Betting Association Backs Return of Expert Gambling Group

Members of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) from 14 EU states have taken it upon themselves to write to the European Commissioner, Thierry Breton concerning issues with gambling. In that message, there has been a call for the establishment of a more coordinated approach to regulating the European market, which has been estimated to be worth around €100 billion each year.

Originally, representatives from several gambling authorities around Europe came together to form the inaugural Expert Group. This was disbanded in 2018 though, even though the EGBA had labelled it as a success after feedback from many regulators on the continent. That decision was decried by many regulators in the industry, too.

The EGBA also mentioned that disbanding the Expert Group meant that no framework exists now for co-operation across that European gambling market. It went on to state that many issues surrounding the gambling scene, including money laundering and illegal gambling activity, are issues experienced in a cross-border fashion.

Maarten Haijer EGBA Secretary General

There is currently no EU framework for gambling regulators to even communicate, let along to jointly tackle the big issues affecting Europe’s online gambling sector. Most of these issues are cross-border in nature and require common solutions.

Maarten HaijerEGBA Secretary General

During his first address as Chair of the European Forum for Gambling Regulators (GREF), René Jansen spoke out about re-establishing the Expert Group, directing his words at the European Commission (EC).

Jansen said that while the EU has managed to maintain gambling laws nationally, all European regulators shared aligned goals when it came to protecting gambling customers, prevent the threat of gambling addiction and in tackling illegal activities. In order to protect each of the individual markets against black market threats, Jansen went on to say that the re-establishment of the group was an imperative course of action.

The Dutch executive then went on to reflect on past achievements of the Expert Group. Through this, collaboration between regulatory agencies had led to the development of new joint initiatives. This includes the EC’s 2014 recommendation on consumer protection in online gambling.

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