A study has shown that 10 EU Member States have worked on strengthening their consumer protection rules for online gambling since 2018, but there is important fragmentation in how member states implement their consumer protection rules.
The study was published by the City, University of London (CUL) and it focused on specific aspects of the consumer protection rules in EU Member States, including knowledge of customer requirements, the protection of minors, safer gambling and treatment support.
The study, which is an update on a previous study from 2018, was commissioned by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) for the purpose of contributing to research knowledge about safer gambling regulations that exist in the EU, as well as raising awareness about the level of consumer protection offered to EU citizens in respect to online gambling.
The conclusion was that while most member states have adopted similar approaches in regards to consumer protection, there are important differences in how national rules are designed or implemented. Additionally, in some member states, specific consumer protection rules for online gambling are missing.
Maarten Haijer, Secretary-General, EGBA, commented: “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’s gambling regulators and operators, while evidently also not benefiting the consumer.
“A more standardised 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 centres.”