René Jansen, the sitting chairman of the board of directors of Kansspelautoriteit (Ksa) spoke on the current state of gambling regulation in the Netherlands.
During his speech, Jansen spoke of his recent appointment as chair of the Gaming Regulators European Forum (GREF) and his desire to develop the forum into “a partnership that is even more indispensable to all of us” and outlined a specific plan of action to accomplish this task.
Time To Breathe New Life
Jansen reaffirmed his commitment to eradicating illegal online gambling and the groups behind them. He did however note that he and others like him are not blind to the challenges of such a lofty goal.
First and foremost, one of the major hurdles that need to be overcome is that of the disparate legal definitions, laws and rule sets that are scattered across the European Union.
Jansen addressed this, saying:
“One key focal point will be to facilitate the success of the newly established working group focusing on enforcement of illegal gambling. Related to this international cooperation, I recently sent a letter on behalf of a group of regulators to the European Commissioner for Internal Market in order to breathe new life into the EC Expert Group on Online Gambling.”
The call for reformation of EU Expert Group is based on the fact there is “currently no EU framework for gambling regulators to even communicate, let alone to jointly tackle the big issues” and the fact that despite the variations in laws “all regulatory authorities have the same objective”.
EGBA Supports the Ksa
This heartfelt call for an Expert Group on Online Gambling who would act as a unified force in assisting various regulators and jurisdictions to address illegal gambling across Europe was met with a lot of support.
Secretary General of the EGBA, Maarten Haijer, said:
“Most of these issues are cross-border in nature and require common solutions. We, therefore, welcome the strong commitment to regulatory cooperation and call to action from the majority of Europe’s gambling regulators. The message to the European Commission is clear: both gambling regulators and the sector itself are united in support of the Expert Group and call upon the Commission to reinstate the Expert Group.”
In total fourteen gambling authorities from as many EU member states have added their voice to Jansen’s in this regard. With each authority submitting an official written request to the European Commission in favour of the re-establishment of the Commission-mandated EU Expert Group on Gambling.
With Europe’s online gambling market being valued at more than €100 billion per year, and the industry striving for market channelisation of no less than 80% there is both a lot of pressure and a massive incentive for European Commission to act swiftly on the communities call for an Expert Group to be formed.