he DSM is meant to create a cohesive European digital framework, with the EC itself noting that digital changes in recent years “bring immense opportunities for innovation, growth and jobs… but also raise challenging policy issues for public authorities which require coordinated EU action”.
At present, online gambling is currently covered by several European Union (EU) consumer protection directives, but most of the applicable regulation is still national.
As a result, EU multi-licensed gambling operators are confronted with the costs of 28 different sets of rules, which EGBA believes make their services “less competitive and attractive for consumers than the unregulated offer from Asia”.
“The EGBA fully supports the Commission’s political investment in the Digital Single Market,” said Maarten Haijer, secretary general of EGBA.
“The EU online gambling sector is the most competitive in the world and will help create the innovation, growth and jobs that will result from taking away barriers in the Internal Market.
“EGBA is looking forward to the concrete legislative proposals that will follow today’s publication.”
The plans, six months in the making, are a cornerstone of efforts by the EC to jump-start growth.
They contain 16 initiatives ranging from an overhaul of the region’s telecommunications rules to harmonised copyright and tax regimes to cybersecurity and better parcel delivery.
In its Cost of non-Europe study, the European Parliament has calculated that a unified European online gambling market would bring benefits of €5.6 billion ($6.3 billion) per year.
The study concludes that “at present, the absence of a single market results in unequal protection of consumers (specifically vulnerable persons and minors)” but also that “protection for problem gamblers and vulnerable consumers is also fragmented and less effective as a result”.
Jean-Claude Juncker, EC President, said: “I want to see pan-continental telecoms networks, digital services that cross borders and a wave of innovative European startups.”