EU Members are Failing to Protect Online Gambling Consumers
The EU and Betting Association (EGBA) is urging European Countries to bolster the protection measures that they are implementing in the internet gambling sector. The request is a result of a new report that stated that Denmark is the only European Union country that is fully embracing and implementing the Customer Protection guidelines.
The Consumer Protection Review
The City University in London carried out a review of the Consumer Protection in EU for Online Gambling Regulation, which the EGBA commissioned. According to the report, the members of the European Union are jeopardizing the safety of their online gambling consumers with poor protections measures and levels.
The review and study focus on the recommendation of the European Commission “2014/478/EU”. The commission published it back in July of 2014, and it calls upon all European members for better and a higher level of protection. The recommendation addressed the identification requirements when it comes to the age of the players, to prevent underage gambling, as well as other measures that show their social responsibility.
The Results of the Review
The EGBA identified different levels when it comes to the regulation of online gambling across the European Union, which exposes the players to different protection levels, depending on where they are. The review also showed that the only country that is implementing the recommendation of the EU commission in full is Denmark. The report also noted that the Netherlands is still prohibiting all kinds of iGaming, although the country is expecting to legalize it in the upcoming years. On the other hand, counties like Slovenia and Ireland still have no specific regulations for online gambling. As a result of all of this, the EU states did not achieve the primary reason behind the Recommendation. The management and the legally of internet gambling and the practical interpretation of them still substantially differ from one European member state to the other.
When it comes to verification and identification measures, twenty-five EU countries require players legally to have an online account so they can access the gambling games. Twenty-two EU countries obligate players to verify their identity before they can engage in online gambling. The report also revealed that seventeen EU countries allow the punters to open temporary online accounts until the process of verification is over. On the other hand, there are seven countries including Finland, Hungary, Portugal and Slovakia that have a more strict approach, as they prevent players from playing until their verify their identity. Therefore, the EGBA has flagged its concerns regarding the protection of minors, even though the EU members have age restriction measures for placing bets at these online games. Only thirteen countries took the advice of the EGBA and ensured that the online operators include the notice that states “no underage gambling” during TV adverts. Italy has also made an extra step by prohibiting all forms of gambling ads, while the state of Latvia permits advertisements only within the gambling venues. Related to that, the EGBA highlighted how only eight EU countries have educational activities that the national authorities or the regulatory bodies fund.