ECA urges action to tackle illegal gambling

stop online gambling concept

The vice chairman of the European Casino Association (ECA) Prof Dietmar Hoscher has urged governments and regulatory bodies to take action to tackle illegal online gambling.

Prof Hoscher was giving the keynote speech at the Conference of the European Association of the Study of Gambling in Malta, which he used to address the current situation with online gambling.

He argued that although some countries had proven to be successful in their attempts to prevent illegal online gambling, the data shows that illegal online gambling is still on the rise in a number of EU countries, and that governments in these countries were not taking sufficient action.

According to Prof Hoscher, the continued existence of unlicensed online gambling services has had a number of negative effects, including an undermining of existing consumer protection measures, and regulatory efforts, as well as putting tax contributions and charitable funding at risk. He also pointed to the risk of links between organised crime and money laundering and illegal gambling.

Join forces

Prof Hoscher drew attention to the existing case law and legislation at EU level, which he said underlined the importance of operating licences for gambling companies. He also said that tackling the problem would require more co-operation between government and regulatory bodies:

Policy-makers, regulators and all stakeholders involved need to join forces and stop the provision of illegal online gambling. This requires strengthened enforcement of national gambling legislation through blacklists, IP blocking and payment blocking, as well as cooperation with online platforms and intermediaries. There is clearly a need and willingness to cooperate between regulators, the licensed gambling industry and other stakeholders to effectively tackle the issue.”

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