In June 2016, David Clifton was quoted in World Online Gambling Report as saying “In Europe, mutual recognition of gambling licences issued in EU Member States is now a long lost dream. Cooperation rather than harmonisation seems to be the way forward”.
The pan-European trade body, the European Gaming & Betting Association (“EGBA”) is nevertheless continuing efforts to achieve harmonisation of European regulatory standards and their unification under one piece of legislation.
This follows publication by EGBA in December 2018 of a manifesto entitled “An EU Framework for Online Gambling” in which it asked EU policymakers to take action so that:
- EU citizens have a high level of consumer protection irrespective of where they reside,
- national gambling authorities are provided with a coherent cooperation framework,
- regulated and EU-established online gambling operators can provide their services without undue administrative burdens in EU member states and
- the compliance of national gambling regulations with EU law is fully enforced.
By reason of Brexit, the issue of EU harmonisation might be thought to be of little consequence to online gambling operators licensed solely in the UK, but it will be of relevance to operators licensed not only in the UK but also in EU Member States.
EGR Compliance has conducted an interesting two-part Q&A session with the head of EGBA, Maarten Haijer, about the challenges of supranational gambling legislation and how EGBA is working to level the playing field for EU operators. You can download below:
- Part 1: United We Stand: How The EGBA Is Working To Unite EU Regulations Under One Banner and
- Part 2: Corridors Of Power: The EGBA Looks Ahead To The Future Of European Gambling Legislation