In a stark warning, Ioanna Fiakkou, the president of the National Betting Authority, has described the size of the illegal betting market as a "nightmare." Speaking at the 6th Safe Gambling Conference, which marks the beginning of Safe Gambling Week, Fiakkou emphasized the urgent need for a revised regulatory framework to combat this growing issue.
"If there is a serious threat at this moment, it is the illegal market," Fiakkou stated. She stressed the importance of open and honest discussions about the necessity for a fully regulated market and underscored that this could only be achieved through a balanced regulatory framework, appropriate legislation, and investment in the training of industry personnel.
Fiakkou urged a focus on the bigger picture, steering clear of political entanglements. The National Betting Authority is currently working on a new bill with the aim of ensuring that licensed gambling services are provided fairly and transparently, while also eliminating any connections between gambling and criminal activity or the black market. The proposed legislation also seeks to prevent links to criminal elements and support for illegal gambling, all while ensuring the protection of players, particularly minors and vulnerable groups.
Among the recommendations in the proposed legislation are plans to introduce new products to make the market economically sustainable, the introduction of specialized B2B gambling licenses, a commitment to guarantee safe gambling practices, and cooperation with banks to implement financial blocking to exclude customers engaged in illegal betting activities.
Fiakkou emphasized the readiness of the National Betting Authority to support the government in implementing this revised regulatory framework, offering expertise and assistance. "The success of the new bill is crucial to addressing the ever-growing issue of the illegal betting market, which has become a nightmare," she stressed.
Safe Gambling Week, which promotes responsible gambling and raises awareness about the risks associated with excessive betting and gaming, aligns with the National Betting Authority's long-standing commitment to player protection and societal well-being.
By fLEXI tEAM