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European gaming bodies partner in support of EC’s Digital Services Act

| By Robin Harrison
A host of European gaming associations will work together to fight illegal gambling, and lobby for the passage of the European Commission’s Digital Services Act, which they claim will significantly aid efforts to stamp out illegal gambling on the continent.

The European Casino Association (ECA), European Lotteries (EL) and the World Tote Association have formed the Alliance Against Illegal Gambling, to support the Digital Service Act. 

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

It is being presented to the European Parliament and Council for review alongside the Digital Markets Act, and while it does not directly regulate gambling, rules covering social media, advertising and take-down orders will all affect the sector. 

The Digital Markets Act, meanwhile, looks to increase oversight of major digital platforms such as social media networks.

The members of the Alliance Against Illegal Gambling said unlicensed providers fail to give back to the communities in which they operate by not paying tax, as well as creating unfair competition, and fail to provide any support to problem gamblers. 

The Digital Services Act, it explained, would enable all users to notify online intermediaries about potentially illegal online content or activities, allowing authorities to take action against providers. 

“We strongly believe that a greater convergence amongst relevant stakeholders of the EU gambling industry is crucial to tackle common and crucial issues such as illegal gambling,” ECA chair Per Jaldung said. 

“The Alliance aims to raise awareness and work together with policymakers to address it effectively. By bringing together our voices, we can provide a key support in protecting consumers across Europe,” he explained. “Additionally, we fully embrace the Digital Services Act package, which represents a critical step to deal with this particular social scourge.”

The Digital Services Act has already been hailed by the European Gaming and Betting Association, with secretary general Maarten Haijer saying it would allow for more uniform enforcement action across the continent. 

EGBA has also pledged to engage with policymakers to ensure the legislation can be passed and implemented. 

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