The audience has perceived that European landscape presents a complex web of legislation and standards that can be challenging to navigate. During the conference on navigating gambling regulations across Europe, legal perspectives from 12 countries were presented, providing valuable insights into the diverse approaches and challenges faced by jurisdictions across the continent. Each country brought its unique regulatory framework and experiences to the round table, enriching the discussions and fostering cross-border collaboration. From established gambling markets to emerging regulatory regimes, the contributions from these 12 countries underscored the importance of sharing best practices and learning from each other's successes and shortcomings. The conference shed light on key topics such as new consumer protection legislation, changes in tender processes and requirements, and the evolving advertising regulations across European Union (EU) member states.
New Consumer Protection Legislation: One of the central themes of the conference revolved around the implementation of new consumer protection legislation in the gambling sector. As the industry continues to evolve, ensuring the safety and well-being of consumers remains a top priority for regulators and policymakers. Participants discussed the latest measures aimed at safeguarding vulnerable individuals, including enhanced age verification processes, responsible gambling initiatives, and stricter controls on advertising and promotions.
The conference highlighted the importance of adopting a holistic approach to consumer protection, which involves collaboration between regulators, operators, and other stakeholders. By implementing robust measures to prevent problem gambling and promote responsible behaviour, European countries can create a safer and more sustainable gambling environment for all.
Changes in Tender Process and Requirements: Another significant topic of discussion was the evolving tender processes and requirements for obtaining gambling licenses in Europe. With the increasing liberalization of the gambling market in certain jurisdictions, there has been a shift towards more transparent and competitive tender procedures. This includes the introduction of stricter criteria for license applicants, such as financial stability, integrity, and compliance with regulatory standards, and higher licensing fees (Italy will represent a test bench in case of challenges towards EU courts).
Furthermore, participants explored the potential challenges and implications of these changes at the EU level. As member states seek to harmonize their gambling regulations to facilitate cross-border operations, there is a need to address legal and regulatory barriers that may hinder market access and competition. Discussions at the conference emphasized the importance of fostering a level playing field for all stakeholders while respecting the diversity of national regulatory frameworks.
Advertising Regulations: The conference also examined the convergence of advertising regulations across EU member states (our guest speaker Francesco Rodano – with the help of our DLA Spanish colleagues – read the similarities in the wording between Colombian and Spanish regulation) particularly in the context of online gambling. Participants noted a trend towards harmonization, with many countries adopting similar restrictions on gambling advertising to protect consumers, particularly minors, from harmful content.
Finally, Francesco Rodano, Playtech Policy Officer described the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies emerging as a crucial tool for regulators and operators alike. AI offers unparalleled capabilities in analyzing vast amounts of data in real-time, enabling more effective identification of at-risk individuals and patterns of problematic behaviour. By leveraging AI-driven algorithms, regulators can enhance their ability to detect and prevent problem gambling, while operators can implement targeted interventions and personalized harm minimization measures (with catchy AI chatbots – as Francesco showed us). Moreover, AI-powered solutions can help improve compliance with regulatory requirements, automate reporting processes, and enhance transparency and accountability across the gambling industry. As the regulatory landscape continues to evolve, the role of AI in gambling consumer protection regulation is poised to become increasingly prominent, offering new opportunities to safeguard the well-being of consumers while promoting a safe and responsible gambling environment.