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EGBA Secretary General Maarten Haijer Offers Insights on European iGaming Regulation Amidst ICE London 2024

As ICE London 2024 unfolds, Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), offers insights into the organization's proactive approach towards navigating the ongoing regulatory agenda amidst concurrent general elections across several markets. In an exclusive interview conducted amidst the event, Haijer underscores the EGBA's steadfast commitment to fostering collaboration among operators and key stakeholders to elevate standards and harmonization practices within the continually evolving European iGaming landscape.

EGBA Secretary General Maarten Haijer Offers Insights on European iGaming Regulation Amidst ICE London 2024

With ICE 2024 already underway, Haijer outlines the EGBA's strategic preparations for the new year, emphasizing the importance of robust representation of member interests at pivotal events like ICE and the European Safer Gambling Week. Notably, he anticipates significant milestones on the horizon, including the European Parliament elections and potential advancements in standardizing markers of harm through CEN, the official EU standardization body.

Reflecting on the regulatory landscape of 2023, Haijer acknowledges notable progress while identifying persistent challenges requiring continued attention. He applauds Finland's departure from a monopolistic approach to online gambling as a pivotal development championed by the EGBA. However, he underscores the need for further strides in addressing monopolistic practices in countries like Poland and Austria, alongside ongoing deliberations concerning online casino regulation in France.

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Addressing areas of conflict, Haijer stresses the importance of targeted regulatory measures tailored to address specific concerns without unduly burdening operators. He raises pertinent concerns regarding preferential treatment afforded to state-owned lotteries, advocating for equitable regulatory frameworks that uphold consumer protection while fostering fair market competition.

Discussing surveillance measures within European iGaming, Haijer advocates for a judicious approach that strikes a balance between safeguarding consumer interests and respecting individual privacy rights. He cautions against excessive intrusion into customer privacy, urging regulators to adopt proportionate measures that mitigate risks without impeding legitimate business operations.

Regarding regulatory reviews in the UK and Ireland, Haijer underscores the significance of achieving stable regulatory outcomes to provide legal clarity and foster sustainable market growth. He highlights the need for greater precision in legal definitions within Ireland's legislative framework and underscores the importance of protecting sponsorships in sports as integral components of a fair and predictable market environment.

In terms of potential avenues for collaboration, Haijer emphasizes the importance of cross-sector cooperation in addressing common challenges such as safer gambling initiatives, data protection, and responsible advertising. The EGBA's advocacy for industry-wide adherence to standard-setting codes and the expansion of membership options to include suppliers reflects a concerted effort to promote inclusivity and foster cooperation across the iGaming sector.

Looking ahead to the remainder of ICE London 2024 and beyond, Haijer expresses cautious optimism for resolutions within the European gambling sector while acknowledging the inherent complexities associated with regulatory evolution and technological advancements. He emphasizes the need for stakeholder engagement and policy stability while advocating for a measured approach to regulatory reform that prioritizes sustainability and consumer welfare.



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