Report No. 276
11. The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA)
6.56 The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) is the Brussels-based industry body representing the leading online gaming and betting operators established, licensed and regulated within the EU. EGBA works together with National Authorities, EU authorities and other stakeholders towards a well-regulated and attractive offer for EU citizens. It focuses on protecting the interest of the consumers by providing a reliable, safe and secure digital environment to ensure consumer protection, while keeping in mind consumer demand.
The Association promotes transparency and integrity in betting activities. This Association is co-funded by the European Commission. The EGBA investigates the best practices in the industry and recommends appropriate standards for conducting gambling and betting, in order to protect the interests of consumers, industry stakeholders and regulators188.
This commitment is underpinned further by a rigorous independent assessment of EGBA Members that is performed annually in order to ensure compliance. The European Commission has valued the European Union's gambling market to be worth € 84.9 billion with a 3% growth rate per year189.
6.57 The European Court of Justice has duly taken note of the major characteristics of Online Gambling in the case of Carmen Media Group Ltd v. Land Schleswig-Holstein and Innenminster des Landes Schleswig-Holstein190, observing:
the characteristics specific to the offer of games of chance by the internet may prove to be a source of risks of a different kind and a greater order in the area of consumer protection, particularly in relation to young persons and those with a propensity for gambling or likely to develop such a propensity, in comparison with traditional markets for such games.
Apart from the lack of direct contact between the consumer and the operator... the particular ease and the permanence of access to games offered over the internet and the potentially high volume and frequency of such an international offer, in an environment which is moreover characterised by isolation of the player, anonymity and an absence of social control, constitute so many factors likely to foster the development of gambling addiction and the related squandering of money, and thus likely to increase the negative social and moral consequences attaching thereto, as underlined by consistent case-law.
6.58 Other Countries such as Portugal, Ireland, Austria, Ghana, Singapore and Malta all follow a regulated format of gambling and betting activities being offered in their own respective territories. Countries such as Singapore charge extra fee on their own citizens to partake in gambling activities191. From the above discussion it is evident that gambling and betting laws across the world are at variance from each other and are influenced by their respective socio-economic milieu.