The European Gaming and Betting Association welcomed the European Commission’s published strategy for a Digital Single Market today saying:
”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.
The EU Commission recognised the challenges in the current state of national regulation rather than one licence across EU member states saying rules and costs associated with national licensing effectively make online gambling operators’ services less competitive and attractive to consumers than an unregulated offer from Asia.
The European Parliament calculated that a unified European market would bring benefits of Euro 5.6 billion per year saying: “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.”
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.”
Making for an insightful and interesting read, the full text of the European Commission’s “A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe” can be accessed at: http://ec.europa.eu/priorities/digital-single-market/docs/dsm-communication_en.pdf