With the expansion of online gambling in Europe, many countries have been facing new societal, regulatory and technical challenges. Laws on gambling are the responsibility of individual countries, but online gambling doesn't respect borders. The challenges of cross-border online gambling cannot be tackled without efficient cooperation between countries. To make this cooperation a reality, the gambling regulatory authorities of EEA Member States today signed an agreement on online gambling services, the first of its kind in the world.
Why does Europe need such an arrangement?
There are more than 7 million citizens in the EU who gamble online. They can be at risk of addiction, and vulnerable to financial and identity fraud, or privacy breaches. Gambling service providers can also be exploited for unlawful ends. Gambling can be a cover for money laundering, and betting-related manipulation of sports events can make money for criminal networks.
Cooperation between countries can help protect people and ensure well-regulated and responsible gambling throughout Europe. Cooperation has already been identified as one of the priorities in the Commission Communication of 2012, 'Towards a comprehensive European framework for online gambling'. The Commission, together with the members of the Expert Group on Gambling Services, has contributed to work on a cooperation arrangement that helps create a framework for exchanging information, best practice and assistance.
What will the agreement bring?
The agreement covers a number of different areas:
- The organisation of gambling, such as tender procedures, verification of information provided by other authorities, exchange of technical expertise.
- The supervision of compliance with national laws, including the protection of consumers, prevention of money laundering and fraud, and betting related to match-fixing.
- Practical cooperation to assist the authorities in their day-to-day supervisory function.
- Sharing of best practices.
National gambling systems
The cooperation arrangement is accompanied by files ('gateways') on the participating countries. These gateways provide information on the role and remit of national authorities, areas they would like to share information on, competences of other national authorities with regards to gambling, as well as any limitations in laws regarding, for example, data protection.
For further information