EGBA hails EC push for digital standardisation

| By Robin Harrison
The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has hailed the European Commission’s legislative proposal for a Digital Service Act (DSA), which would standardise rules for regulating large digital platforms and allow for healthy competition across the continent.

Introduced alongside the Digital Markets Act (DMA), the DSA looks to update the EC’s eCommerce Directive, which was issued more than 20 years ago. 

It aims to introduce new EU-wide rules to have illegal goods, services or content removed, as well as implementing safeguards for users whose content has been mistakenly deleted. 

It also aims to have the largest digital platforms, such as social media giants, take risk-based action to prevent their systems being abused. These platforms would also be required to provide greater transparency around areas such as online advertising and the algorithms used to recommend content to users. 

The DSA would also make it easier to trace business users in online marketplaces, to track down sellers of illegal goods and services, and help nations coordinate enforcement across the European single market. 

EGBA noted that while online gambling is not directly regulated by the DSA, the proposal was relevant for the industry. Elements such as the rules for social media businesses, digital liability rules for online platforms, advertising, as well as take-down actions would all affect the sector, the association explained. 

“We welcome the Commission’s Digital Services Act and hope this will be the beginning of renewed efforts by the Commission to address many of the regulatory challenges which impact on companies and consumers who buy and sell services in the digital space,” EGBA secretary general Maarten Haijer said. 

“One of the challenges we see in Europe’s online gambling sector is the need for more consistent regulations in the EU, particularly in respect to customer protection, and the Commission needs to step up to address the current fragmentation.”

EGBA has previously spoken out in favour of greater standardisation when it comes to online gambling, specifically in the field of consumer rights.

While gambling regulation is left to individual states, the trade body argued that this created an inconsistent framework, which could see players slip through the cracks and gamble with offshore operators. 

The DSA and the DMA, which looks to ban unfair practices by the largest digital platforms, are to be presented by the European Parliament and Council for review, with each chamber given the opportunity to make changes. 

EGBA said it would engage with policymakers during this process, as well as pushing for more standardised rules for gambling such as identify verification services.

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