EGBA boss calls for greater cooperation to “ensure the sector has a sustainable future”

Europe’s gambling industry must work towards “a stronger culture of responsibility and cooperation,” claims Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA).

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In a blog post, he urged trade associations and operators to engage in greater cross-border collaboration, particularly around safer gambling.

Haijer criticised those companies who sit on the side-lines and challenged operators to work more closely together.

Ultimately, he argued that enhanced cooperation would allow companies to benefit from others’ experience, learning “best practices about self-regulatory initiatives.”

He also issued a word of warning, asserting that “stricter regulation” will become “inevitable” if the industry doesn’t act.

He wrote: “As companies and associations, we all need to work closer together towards a stronger culture of responsibility and cooperation so that the industry is better organised and represented.

“Because there are way too many operators that sit on the periphery of our sector, don’t contribute to the representation of the sector and choose not to participate in trade associations like EGBA.”

EGBA’s Secretary General acknowledged that responsibility requires “commitment and resources,” but offered some guidance. “Become a member of a trade association if you aren’t already,” he continued.

“Invest in relationships with wider stakeholders and our critics. Help develop local industry codes of conduct and apply these. Meet regularly with the political and regulatory leaderships to identify issues and find solutions.

“Be open, honest and transparent about your activities. Invest in strengthening the industry voice.”

In closing, Haijer said: “This is part of our collective effort, as EGBA, to contribute to a sustainable gambling sector that can fight for its interests, acknowledges its place in society and answers the concerns that society might have, both today and in the future.  But we can’t do it alone.”


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