The European Commission has launched a number of initiatives in relation to gambling. These include issuing recommendations, holding conferences and workshops, and commissioning studies. The size and special nature of the gambling market means that its regulation and supervision must go hand-in-hand with societal considerations, ensure consumer protection, and help prevent money laundering, fraud and match-fixing in sports.
In 2014, the Commission adopted the Recommendation on principles for the protection of consumers and players of online gambling services and the prevention of minors from gambling. The Recommendation encourages EU countries to ensure a high level of protection for consumers and minors through the adoption of principles for online gambling services and for responsible advertising and sponsorship.
As part of the process of preparing the Recommendation, the Commission organised workshops to benefit from the knowledge of experts in the field. The views expressed during the workshops are those of the experts and may not necessarily reflect those of the Commission.
Betting-related match fixing involves unfairly manipulating sport competitions for illegal profit. The Commission sees the combatting of match fixing as an important goal and believes in promoting an efficient exchange of good practice at EU level, enhancing effective cooperation amongst regulators, operators, and sport bodies, and setting out minimum conflict of interest provisions.
To further these efforts, the Commission announced an initiative regarding match fixing in the 2012 Communication 'Towards a comprehensive European framework for online gambling'.
In parallel, the Commission participated in the work of the Council of Europe on a Convention against the manipulation of sports results. The aim of this work is to provide national systems with the tools, expertise and resources necessary to combat the threat of match fixing.
Exploring the merits of introducing standards for gambling equipment was announced in the Communication 'Towards a comprehensive European framework for online gambling' (section 2.4.3), and in the Annual Union work programme for European standardisation for 2015 (section 3.3.11).
On 29 October 2014, the Commission organised a fact-finding workshop on online gambling equipment, processes and technical requirements to benefit from the knowledge of experts in the field. It sought a better understanding of national technical regulations and the prescribed requirements, and specifications regarding online gambling equipment. The views expressed during this workshop are those of the experts and may not necessarily reflect those of the Commission.
On 06 November 2015, the Commission organised a round-table workshop on online gambling and technical requirements. This workshop focused on the identification of best practices in the gambling architecture that would contribute to a comparable level of security and fair gambling across EU countries. The views expressed during this workshop are those of the experts and may not necessarily reflect those of the Commission.