Sigrid Ligné, the Secretary General of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has launched a newsletter for members and interested parties in the belief that open communication will provide all stakeholders with a better understanding of the realities of the market.
"It will help not only law makers and regulators making reasoned and informed decisions but it will also help individuals in choosing how to play in a safe and responsible way," Ligne says in her introduction.
EGBA, which is supported by most major European online gambling groups, is an industry body working to create a level competitive playing field within the EU online gaming and betting sector – and to give the millions of Europeans who enjoy this popular form of entertainment a safe, equitable and responsible environment in which to do so.
The launch coincides with EGBA’s second Responsible Gaming Day, held at the European Parliament on 17 February. This year the Association's focus is on Integrity and Sport. EGBA members, all licensed and regulated within the EU, voluntarily adhere to 170 additional EGBA-developed responsible standards built on a set of principles, such as prevention of underage gaming, ethical marketing and zero tolerance to fraud, which are all designed to protect consumers and the industry alike.
Building on last year’s successful event, decision makers, academia, opinion formers, experts and regulated online gaming and betting operators will have the opportunity to debate topics such as ethics, integrity, and tackling the risks of sport betting.
"All too often, our industry is judged on myths rather than facts," writes Ligne. "Combining betting and technology offers a tremendous opportunity to increase transparency and traceability and therefore to reduce risks. EU regulated online operators can identify and offer assistance to consumers who may need help on a 24/7 basis, offering them the option to cool off, self-exclude or set limits when needed, for example. Also, the registration process for any play involving real money requires players to provide data which allows operators to detect at an early stage suspicious bets and behaviours, and prevent fraud and the risk of match-fixing.
"In a few jurisdictions, we are beginning to see moves away from national market protectionism and a fair appreciation of the benefits of a standards and technology driven regulated online gaming industry. But there is still a long way to go before freedom of choice for millions of European consumers becomes a reality throughout Europe."
The inaugural issue includes articles on free movement of goods and services in the EU and on integrity in sportsbetting.
Professor Dr Ehlermann, Senior Counsel at WilmerHale and a former Director-General of the Legal Service of the European Commission answers the question: "Does the gaming and betting sector benefit from the EC Treaty’s provision for free movement of services?" and Khalid Ali, Secretary General of the European Sports Security Association (ESSA) explains why sports integrity’s best kept secret is coming out into the open to bring even greater protection to sporting events and those who enjoy online gaming.
This edition also includes detailed information on verifying customer identity in the 21st century using electronic tools, in an interesting and comprehensive article by Karyn Bright from GB Group plc.
"ID verification solutions, in ensuring players are who they say they are, are helping online gaming operators to create a responsible gaming environment," writes Bright, referencing GB’s white paper “Remote Gambling and KYC – from Compliance to Cash.”
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