Increased customer protection guaranteed by new measures
A progress report on new self-regulatory measures has been released by the European Gaming and Betting Association in order to ensure higher level of consumer protection and guarantee that gambling operators act responsibly.
EGBA, as an association representing most of Europe's key online gambling companies, focused on defining protection of vulnerable consumers, including prevention of underage gambling, protection of customer privacy and safeguarding of information, as well as commitment to ethical and responsible marketing, to customer satisfaction and support, safe and secure IT environments, and zero tolerance of fraudulent and criminal behaviour.
The next stage in the process is publication of the measures by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), which is one of three European standardisation organisations formally recognized by the European Union.
John Ketchell, Innovation Director at CEN, said that CEN's "Responsible Remote Gambling Measures" represent a list of attributes considered as best practice for companies offering remote gaming services, EGBA reports.
It is worth mentioning that CEN annually publishes around 1 500 documents compiled by experts from industry, governments, consumers, academia, and others in open consensus.
In general, CEN publications represent formal European Standards, and the process of their development may last even up to three years.
In contrast, CEN Workshops provide faster and less formal processes, open for global participation and not exclusive for representatives of national delegations.
In May 2010, the "Responsible Remote Gambling Measures" initiative started with 25 registered participants, and the draft was formulated on the basis of more than 600 contributions, ensuring observance of the existing documents, such as voluntary codes of conduct.
Following the submission of document for public comment from July to September 2010, the final version has been approved by the CEN Workshop participants in order to be published in February 2011.
"This may only be a first step, in the sense that the CEN community will be ready to consider additional activities when the stakeholders are ready and willing, for example to work towards the creation of a full European Standard in due time," says Ketchell.
Such voluntary activities play a significant role in industry self-regulation process. They are free from complexity of legal requirements, and yet reliable and cost-effective being formulated by the expert stakeholders themselves. In addition, any updates or amendments may be done much faster than in case of regulatory procedures.