EGBA lauds EU’s proposed introduction of digital identification

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The EGBA-endorsed move would oblige states in the European Union (EU) to issue an e-ID to citizens. This would allow them to authenticate their identity for online services. e-IDs will be optional for citizens and businesses.

EGBA labelled the European Parliament’s approval on Monday a “significant milestone” in providing a safer and more inclusive online environment for citizens in the EU. There were 335 votes in favour, 190 opposing the new regulations and 31 abstentions.

e-IDs will mean citizens no longer have to resort to commercial providers to verify their online identification, which has caused privacy and security concerns in the past.

The hope is e-IDs will reduce the risk of fraud and identity theft, enhancing security for the EU’s citizens.

An additional key benefit of e-IDs is lower costs for businesses. This is particularly important for gambling operators who will be able to use a standardised verification system across the EU rather than differing commercial databases in each country.

Maarten Haijer, secretary general of EGBA, said: “We welcome the European Parliament’s approval of a unified digital identity framework and are confident that the use of the new e-ID in our sector will lead to a more seamless and trustworthy online experience for players and help to reduce costs and administration for gambling operators.”

Will e-IDs catch on?

e-ids could be hugely beneficial for gambling operators across the european union

The EGBA has long been keen on the introduction of e-IDs, citing their potential to “revolutionise” how EU citizens access online.

The assoication has supported the proposals since the framework for a new EU online identification system was initially proposed in 2021.

The European Commission is setting a target for 80% of EU citizens to be using the technology by 2030. The EGBA has also highlighted the need for high participation in order for e-IDs to work. They will not be mandatory for gambling companies.

Following the European Parliament’s approval, the e-ID law will need to be formally endorsed by the EU’s council of ministers. Should it pass that stage, e-IDs should be adopted by the summer of this year.

EGBA’s aims to make European gambling safer

A 2023 report revealed that EGBA members had sent 45.5 million safer gambling messages to customers in 2022. This represented a 20% increase. 48% of those messages were personalised, sent directly to customers showing concerning gambling behaviour.

Haijer stated the report showed positive signs of how EBGA is looking to address problem gambling. EGBA’s members include the likes of Flutter, Kindred and Betsson.

In December 2022, EGBA submitted a proposal to develop a common European standard for markers of harm for online gambling. This would make it clearer for harmful gambling activities to be identified by removing the “significant differences” in how markers are defined and monitored.

Earlier that year, EGBA established a new expert group that would counteract new cybersecurity threats to gambling. The group allows EGBA members to exchange information on cyber threats so that future attacks can be avoided.

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