European Commission Recommends Principles for Protection of Online Gambling Customers4 years ago
On Monday, July 14, the European Commission accepted a Recommendation on online gambling services. The Recommendation encourages Member States to adopt the principles which would ensure a high level of protection for consumers, players and minors. The general idea behind these principles is to protect health and minimize eventual economic harm that could come as the result of excessive or compulsive gambling.
The Recommendation lists some of the main elements and principles that the Member States should look to incorporate into their gambling regulations. The gambling sites should provide potential customers with sufficient information to understand the risks related to gambling and advertising campaigns should be carried out in a responsible way.
Players should be required to go through a thorough registration process. This would help both in prevention of underage gambling and would enable sites to track their customers’ behavior and raise alarm if necessary.
Players should be equipped with necessary tools to help them with keeping gambling under control, like setting a win / loss limit or excluding themselves from participation. There should also be helplines available at all times. All employees should have a proper training enabling them to interact with players in appropriate manner and to recognize problem gambling issues.
Advertising campaigns are ought to be more socially responsible and transparent, not suggesting, for example, that gambling can serve as a solution to social, financial or other problems. There should also be awareness-raising campaigns about gambling related problems carried out by the Member States.
Some of the Member States are currently in the process of reviewing their gambling regulations and they should use this Recommendation as the guideline. All the states are expected to inform the European Commission about the steps taken in the light of the Recommendation 18 months after its publication and the Commission will evaluate these measures 30 months after the publication.
Although this is only a recommendation, most states will probably try to incorporate a lot of its items in their new or existing gambling laws. What the impact will be on the overall industry remains to be seen, as it will be up to particular national governments to implement certain items as they see fit, while the Commission will try to only serve as a facilitator in the process.
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