In the face of a renewed threat from the Covid-19 pandemic, the European gambling sector has reaffirmed its commitment to responsible gambling.
The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) which is backed by 15 online gambling associations, has announced a renewal of measures designed to ensure safer online gambling along with responsible gambling advertising as restrictions are reintroduced across the continent. With individuals facing the prospect of once again spending long periods at home, the EGBA appears keen to be seen to take action proactively.
The measures, which the EGBA say are designed to promote responsible gambling, include several rules that betting organisations have agreed to in order to protect customers. These include the rule that gambling advertising should not refer to the coronavirus directly or indirectly and should not portray gambling as a potential solution to financial or other problems.
In addition, advertising and websites must contain clear and visible information outlining the minimum age restrictions that apply, as well as links to national problem gambling helplines and registers of self-exclusion where these exist in a jurisdiction.
The industry body has also reaffirmed its commitment to rigorously enforced identity verification measures on their sites, enabling them to verify the identity of new customers and to prevent minors from accessing gambling. Safer gambling tools, including deposit limits, self-exclusion and time outs, which customers can use to manage their gambling, will also be offered, while EGBA members have committed to closely monitoring their customers for signs of problematic gambling behaviour and to stepping in to offer safer gambling interventions where appropriate. Finally, the voluntary rules say that new customers must be informed of all the platform’s safer gambling tools at the time of sign-up.
Speaking about the measures, the Secretary General of the EGBA, Maarten Haijer, said that the reintroduction of pandemic restrictions provides a major challenge to European society and that gambling companies had to play their part:
“This guidance is intended to help fellow citizens and provides an opportunity for gambling companies to demonstrate their willingness to take responsibility during these challenging times.”
He added that the measures simple but essential steps that all gambling companies should take to provide greater protection for their customers, boosting their social responsibility efforts and ensuring that their advertising is ethical and responsible, and he urged all online operators to follow them.