Brussels, 6 May 2015
EGBA welcomes the publication of the European Commission’s strategy for a Digital Single Market. The EU is in dire need of a proper framework to reap the benefits offered by new technologies that have fundamentally transformed our economies and consumer behaviour.
Today the European Commission published its much-anticipated strategy for a Digital Single Market, which aims at making the European digital framework fit for purpose to the 21st century economy. According to the Commission, the digital changes “bring immense opportunities for innovation, growth and jobs. They also raise challenging policy issues for public authorities which require coordinated EU action. All Member States are wrestling with similar problems but on a national basis which is too limited to allow them to seize all the opportunities and deal with all the challenges of this transformational change.” 1 EGBA could not agree more.
Online gambling is currently covered by several EU (consumer protection) directives, but most of the applicable regulation is still national. As a result, EU multi-licensed gambling operators are confronted with the costs of 28 different sets of rules, effectively making their services less competitive and attractive for consumers than the unregulated offer from Asia.
In its Cost of non-Europe study, the European Parliament has calculated that a unified European online gambling market would bring benefits of 5.6 billion euros per year. Importantly, the study concludes that “at present, the absence of a single market results in unequal protection of consumers (specifically vulnerable persons and minors)” but also that “protection for problem gamblers and vulnerable consumers is also fragmented and less effective as a result.”2
Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA, said: “The EGBA fully supports the Commission’s political investment in the Digital Single Market. The EU online gambling sector is the most competitive in the world and will help create the innovation, growth and jobs that will result from taking away barriers in the Internal Market. EGBA is looking forward to the concrete legislative proposals that will follow today’s publication.”
For more information, please contact:
Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA: +32 2 554 08 90, firstname.lastname@example.org
1 European Commission, A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe, page 3
2 European Parliament, The Cost of Non-Europe in the Single Market, Chapter 5 on Consumer Acquis
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