EU Gambling Market and Privacy Regulation

Many might not realize that the dimension of the European Union gambling market has 85 billion Euro volume, along with a 3% growth per year, as well as close to 7 million online gamblers. It’s a huge and growing sector, for a number of reasons, even if other factors limit its growth.

We have mentioned before the disperse legislation that exists in the EU space, and also monopolistic regimes that are held by the state. Despite this, gambling and online gambling is flourishing in Europe, and some countries have already multiple private operators. Overall it’s a growing market but in transition.

There are situations of undefined legislation in some countries, and this makes that the consumers look beyond their borders for gambling. Sometimes this just leads to being exposed to less trusted sites what is obviously a risk. The lack of EU specific legislation for gambling doesn’t help either in this particular.

The review of national legislation is under course though, and a common EU legislation for the gambling market, with a special focus on online gambling and data privacy, is also being developed or even approved.

As the countries cannot act individually to achieve this, the EU is playing a big role in the development of regulations, technical challenges, and privacy. Once these aspects are set at the European Union level, gambling and online gambling will definitely rise to another level. Let’s take a look at the recently approved EU Privacy Regulation.

EU Privacy Regulation

The EU adopted in 2016 a Regulation for General Data Protection what has a significant impact on companies that are operating in the EU, when this regulation comes into force in May 25th, 2018.

The main changes that this law brings are the application to companies that are not from the EU, considering they are doing business in the EU space. There are other changes, like the explicit instead of implied consent, data portability, the right to be forgotten, the increase of sanctions, as well as an assessment of privacy impact.

Changes for gambling companies

Obviously, this means that the gambling companies will have to change the way they had been operating until now, and changes mean costs. Major changes for gambling suppliers and operators will have to happen to ensure the new privacy rules are followed what hasn’t been a top priority until now.

With the introduction of significant punitive measures, nonexistent until now, companies will have another motivation to make this change happen.

Even those suppliers and operators from countries with less demanding approaches to privacy will have to change because players will now be able to make claims in their country of residence, and not at the location of the operator or supplier, as mentioned above.

The low fines that didn’t happen often are now replaced by fines up to 4% of the turnover, creating an entirely different situation. The effective changes will only happen one year from now though, so the operators do have time to make sure their data will follow the new rules.