Study Finds Inconsistency in European Gambling Regulatory Implementation

The EGBA-commissioned study looked at how gambling regulations are implemented across the EU, and found that regulations have been implemented in a piecemeal fashion.
December 13, 2021

A new study has shown that, despite best efforts, European adoption of safer gambling regulations is a bit spotty across the various jurisdictions in the study.

The study looked into 10 EU jurisdictions and found the adoption of safer gambling regulations is somewhat inconsistent across the member states.

The European Gaming and Betting Association recently added to a study commissioned in 2018 with an update related to the implementation of safe gambling rules across the continent. The study looked at 10 different member states and examined how they’ve implemented the regulations imposed to make the gambling environment safer for consumers.

While the study found some similarities in implementation, it also found some differences in the way regulations were implemented and enforced on the ground in various places. The study also found that in some jurisdictions, specific consumer protections haven’t been implemented at all.

“Increasing Fragmentation” Implementing Rules

As reported by Gambling Insider, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) recently updated a 2018 study looking at how gambling regulations have been put in place across the European regions it manages. Published by the City, University of London (CUL), the study focussed on certain aspects of consumer protection rules in EU member states.

The idea of the study was two-fold. Mainly, the purpose was to collect data about how member nations have implemented regulations related to safe gambling and treatment, as well as to examine knowledge of customer requirements and ensure minors are protected from the harms related to gambling.

One of the main thrusts of the study was to increase awareness of what kinds of consumer protections for EU members related to online gambling.

The study found that while there was some broad adoption of consumer protections across the member nations, there was some inconsistency in the specifics of how those protections are put in place on the ground. It found that there are important differences in how the rules have been designed and implemented and also that certain consumer protection rules were not implemented at all in some regions.

The Secretary-General of the EGBA noted that while there is some synergy between the member regions, more standardization needs to occur. “In several areas, regulatory principles are converging, but there is increasing fragmentation in how the rules are implemented and this creates a complicated compliance and enforcement map for Europe‚Äôs gambling regulators and operators, while evidently also not benefiting the consumer.”

“A more standardized regulatory framework would surely benefit all. While regulations and enforcement are extremely important, the study also highlights that more could be done to strengthen prevention measures and ensure that those who are affected by harm are signposted to relevant helplines and treatment centers,” they went on to say.

The modern online gambling industry has to walk a knife-edge between profits on the one hand, and responsible behaviour regarding the social dangers of gambling on the other. Often, the two goals can seem diametrically opposed, but it is only through strong protections against the harms of their products that gambling operators will truly be able to maximize profits.

The latest additions to the 2018 EGBA study add some necessary data to the problem, showing that while there is broad adoption of the rules in place, there is still some way to go to craft a Europe-wide strategy that is implemented fully across all the member regions.

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