Digital Services Act

European Parliament's agreement on new digital rules involving illegal iGaming praised by European Lotteries

Arjan van ‘t Veer, EL Secretary General.
2022-01-21
Belgium
Reading time 2:12 min

On Thursday, the European Parliament adopted its negotiating position on the Digital Services Act (DSA), with 530 votes to 78, and 80 abstentions. MEPs agreed on a draft set of measures to tackle illegal content, to ensure platforms are held accountable for their algorithms, and improve content moderation.

The DSA proposal defines responsibilities and accountability for providers of intermediary services, and in particular online platforms. It also establishes a “notice and action” mechanism, as well as safeguards, for the removal of illegal products, services or content online.

The European Lotteries (EL), the European umbrella organization of national lotteries operating games of chance, welcomed the new provisions, which are also set to fight illegal online gambling.

“EL Members strongly believe in a high level of consumer protection and are fully committed to the fight against illegal online gambling,” said Arjan van ‘t Veer, EL Secretary General. “The DSA foresees a number of new provisions that could be beneficial to this end.”

The Secretary General further said EL hopes that the new provisions “will be at the disposal of its members,” most notably an improved notice-and-action mechanism, the concept of trusted flaggers, and enhanced customer protection and know-your-business-customer requirements.

The DSA is a future European Union regulation with the aim to create a safer digital space in which users’ rights are protected through rules to tackle illegal products, services or content online; enhance accountability and transparency of algorithms; and deal with content moderation.

Following the release of the proposal by the European Commission in December 2020, Member States in the Council adopted their general approach last November. EL urged the Council ahead of its meeting to exclude the explicit mention of online gambling and betting services from DSA.

According to European Lotteries, the tweaks introduced by the Parliament include “a more transparent and informed choice” for the recipients of digital services; prohibition of targeting or amplification techniques involving the data of minor for the purpose of displaying ads, as well as targeting individuals on the basis of special categories of data which allow for targeting vulnerable groups.

Moreover, recipients of digital services and organizations representing them must be able to seek redress for any damages resulting from platforms not respecting their due diligence obligations, remarks EL.

”Today EL welcomes the support by MEPs, in particular by Rapporteur Christel Schaldemose to improve the European Commission’s proposal to create a safer digital space for everyone”, added Arjan van ‘t Veer. “This marks a milestone update in the regulation of the Internet in the EU.”

As the European Parliament has now reached its position, the path is paved towards the “trilogues,” negotiations between all the three institutions which will see the final text of the future regulation hammered out.

According to estimates, DSA rules could come into force as soon as 2023. “EL will continue to closely monitor and -as appropriate- get actively involved in this discussion in the best interest of its members,” the organization announced in a press statement.

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