End of illegal gambling?

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Peter Brandt 26. November 2021

The Law on Digital Services (DSA) planned by the EU could contain illegal online gambling. If the EU Committee for Hin Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) grant the set-up regulations of the draft law Green Light, the industry could benefit from the new provisions. The focus is on the fight against the flourishing illegal online gambling game, which would be enormously facilitated by the DSA.

The law on digital services should come into force for the first time Europe-wide and uniform online regulations, which also affect the fight against the illegal online gambling. ((© Guillaume Périgois/Unsplash)

Positive effect on gaming industry

That Illegal online gambling game is a thorn in the side of many European countries and providers. Numerous countries have already reacted to the flourishing black market on the Internet and their national laws adapted to the modern circumstances. Nevertheless, it is still a fight against windmills, illegal operators and offers to completely pull out of circulation, since the Internet is not bound to national borders and cannot be completely monitored.

States rely on licensing. Through their legal forms, many European countries have launched a national licensing procedure that online gambling operators grant the right to offer their offer in each country. However, the relevant providers must adhere to high quality standards. Conversely, illegal and non-licensed competitors are to be pushed out of the market.

Despite the tricky situation, the European countries and numerous gambling groups hope for one by the law on digital services (DSA) positive effect on the fight against illegal gambling. This emerges from a recently held webinar, that of European Lotteries (EL) was organized.

The DSA draft was published by the EU Commission last year. The law has committed itself to various overarching goals that affect the Europe -wide gaming industry. For example, the regulations regarding illegal online content are to be modernized. The liability question for problematic and illegal content should also be clarified uniformly. In addition, the DSA should More transparency and responsibility take care of the companies. Finally, it is planned to better protect the fundamental rights online.

Authenticity instead of anonymity

The European gaming companies hope that the law on digital services will give them the necessary tools in order to be able to act against the illegal online gambling. According to Petri Lahesmaa, specialist advisor at the Finnish gambling monopolist Veikkaus, the realization of the DSA would be a first step to uniform regulations To combat illegal gambling activities on the Internet.

Among other things, the DSA has the strength, the To put an end to anonymity of online companies. The law contains the so-called “Know your Business Customer” regulation (KYBC), which focuses on both authenticity and legitimacy. Consumers should be able to distinguish legal offers and companies from fraudsters. This differentiation should also be possible in the area of online gambling.

Watchful system. In addition to the KYBC regulation, the law on digital services hosting service providers will oblige to implement a registration function on the respective website or platform. This should enable all Internet users to report illegal online activities and content. According to Fréderic Deroin from the French National Outrescence “Francaise des Jeux” (FDJ), the mandatory registration function is an important tool for the online gambling market.

Potential prioritization system

According to Dimitra Voulgari from the Greek gambling group, the reporting function should be available to all internet users to a to create comprehensive and dynamic warning system. However, Voulgari goes one step further and sees the reporting tool a special opportunity for the individual gambling associations.

According to him, the law on digital services is Concept “Trusted Flaggers” anchored. These should be people, institutions or associations who have a certain standing within the respective industry or are considered experts in any areas. If such a “Trusted Flagger” reports an illegal online gambling page or questionable content, according to Voulgari, the host in question must react immediately. With this prioritization system, it is possible to make the fight against the illegal online gambling decisively advance.

Label for “Trusted Flaggers”. The DSA stipulates that “Trusted Flagger” should be specially marked within an industry so that they are also perceived as trustworthy and certified instance. A corresponding label should remedy this. As part of the European Lotteries webinar, Voulgari suggested that it should strive for a Trusted flagger label. In this way, the European gaming industry has a meaningful mouthpiece that can decisively act against the illegal online gambling through the label.