European Commission Issues Recommendation for Online Gambling Protection

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In efforts to see that all citizen of the EU are safeguarded from any threats, the EU Commission passes special recommendation to solve the problem.

The online gambling market is fast growing industry that generates substantial revenues and other opportunities for markets that employ it. However, some officials from the European Commission are concerned that mobile casino gambling sites could come in contact with minors. Therefore, they have set out to shield children from internet gambling.

The European Commission has adopted a Recommendation that will see Member States maintain a stronger approach to protection of players, consumers and minors. A certain set of principles will be applied to online gambling services and gaming advertising to achieve a higher level of gambling awareness and protection.

Protection of EU citizens is vital

• Recommendation will look after all citizens of EU

• Customer, players and especially minors will be protected

• The Commission has lead talks about online gambling since 2010

The motion was adopted last week and cemented as an objective that will be carried out immediately. The Recommendation is part of a plan that was initially released in 2012 that had to do with online gambling services. The aim is to keep minors away from the hazards that can be caused from excessive gambling, which may lead to bigger problems.

The Commission stated, “We must better protect all citizens, and in particular our children, from the risks associated with gambling. We now look to the Member States, but also to online gambling operators, to match our ambition for a high level of consumer protection throughout the EU in this fast growing digital sector.”

The European Union amounts for nearly 45% of the global online gambling market, while current estimates show that number is only going to increase over the years to come. Additionally, the economic possibilities associated to internet gambling are immense, so the European market must be looked after with diligently.

The recommendation has important points for providers to follow

The Recommendation has several key points that will ensure to make online gambling safer for everyone involved, while also maintaining a sustainable network of operations. The plan is to coherently educate and inform citizens of the EU about the ramifications of online gambling, with special note to minors.

The providers of internet gaming will have to follow strict EU gambling laws and guidelines when facilitating services and showcasing advertisement. They will have to maintain a responsible approach in their commercial communication to customers and other parties.

Additionally, companies have to provide a greater deal of clarity about policies and rules in order to make sure that people understand the background regulations. Age verification, identification controls and registration procedure and other important elements should all be offered to ensure principles are safeguarded.

And lastly, certain measures will have to be in place to prevent customer becoming from showing signs of addiction, as that would be contrary to the main rules of the Recommendation. Member states of the EU will have to have to undertake research studies about risk assessment on the national level.

EU maintains a massive online gambling market

Reports indicate that over 12% of all gambling activities are made online, making the industry have a value of more than EUR 10 billion in gross gambling revenue in 2012 alone. Games that are most popular range from EU poker rooms, sports betting, casino games, lotteries and various other games of chance.

There are around 6.8 million customers actively involved in one or more games. However, the problem is that there are thousands of unregulated online gaming sites that are generally located outside the jurisdiction of the EU, offering their services to European citizens. These illegal sites are generally known for money laundering and fraudulent activities.

Currently, there are no sector specific EU legislations for the online gambling services, as it was deemed inappropriate of introducing such a bill. Meanwhile many member countries are looking at ways to surpass tough challenges, which has propelled them to revise their regulations when it comes to internet gaming.

Since 2010, the Commission has been leading the discussion in resolving issues in the gaming market. The European Parliament, member states and numerous parties that have interests in online gambling have all sought assistance from the EU to create a safer environment for players, customers and minors.

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