The EGBA (European Gambling and Betting Association) is calling for new EU gambling laws to better protect players. It comes at a time when many different European nations are struggling to lower gambling addiction rates. Hope is that, with better laws, problem gambling rates around the continent will go down.
This also comes at a time when many EU nations take to the polls to vote for new leaders. Today, we’re going to look into why the EGBA is calling for new gambling regulations. Later, we’ll take a look at whether or not EU gaming laws will be changed this year.
It’s not much of a surprise to see Europe’s primary gambling regulator calling for new laws. Over the past several years, many different countries here have opened their gaming industries to foreign companies. Sweden, Croatia, and Spain have all allowed new companies into their online gambling markets.
Unfortunately, this has led to a significant increase in gambling addiction rates. Even countries that have allowed online gambling for years are seeing problem gambling numbers go up. The UK, for instance, is said to be home to more than 400,000 gambling addicts.
Many of these countries are now beginning to combat these issues. Ireland is currently reviewing a completely new set of gaming laws. In April, the UK announced a new “National Strategy” to lower gambling addiction around the country, as well.
It’s great to see different countries work on this increasingly common issue. The EGBA is arguing that new EU gambling laws will make this process even easier. Will this group’s plans be put into effect this year?
This gambling regulatory body is now calling on officials to increase regulations on Europe’s online gambling industry. Heads of this group want to see the European Parliament set new EU gambling laws that will ensure all gaming companies protect players. As we just mentioned, this comes at a time when Europe’s problem gambling rates are higher than ever.
The EGBA claims that online gambling now makes up more than 20% of the entire EU gambling market. A lack of common EU laws on this industry is hurting players, they argue. This makes sense, as almost every country has its own unique set of online gambling laws and regulations.
The EGBA feels this is a major issue right now. The group claims that there are
“significant disparities in the quality of these national regulations.”
A number of studies prove this assessment to be correct.
Maarten Haijer, secretary general of the EGBA, fully supports new EU gambling regulations:
“In 2019, there’s no reason why online gamblers living in one member country should be less protected than those living in another—but they are.”
He also said,
“That’s why EGBA is calling for common EU rules and better regulatory cooperation to ensure a more consistent and better standard of protection for all Europe’s online gamblers.”
It’s hard to say. The EU is currently working to make a deal with the UK over Brexit. Unfortunately, the idea of creating new EU gambling laws is probably low on the list of priorities.
The EGBA is making a compelling case, though. The fact that nearly every European country has its own set of online gambling laws makes it a very difficult industry to regulate. If the EU Parliament created new laws that all gaming companies would need to abide by, it could potentially lower gambling addiction rates.
Of course, this would probably not go over well with online gambling companies. Most of these companies choose which markets they want to enter based on the regulations. If there was a blanket set of laws across the EU, this would change.
No one knows if the EU Parliament will set new regulations. It may take time before this government body takes action. In the meantime, many countries are doing a great job of tackling the problem gambling issue themselves.
Do you think new EU gambling laws should be set in place? Has a lack of oversight led to the rise in gambling addiction? Let us know in the comment section below!
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