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Belgium – EGBA calls for support for a European standard on markers of harm

By - 19 December 2022

A European standard on markers of harm would support the early identification of possible risky or problem gambling behaviour of online players, according to a standardisation proposal that the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has submitted to the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN). EGBA believes that a reliable, standardised list of markers of harm is essential for preventing gambling-related harm in Europe.

CEN, the body responsible for developing standards in Europe, is currently conducting a ballot of its members, the national standardisation bodies (NSBs) of European countries, to determine whether the proposal should be approved. NSBs have until the end of December 2022 to vote. If the proposal is adopted, relevant stakeholders, including academics, health experts, authorities, operators, and consumer organisations, will be able to participate in the discussions to develop the standard.

Importantly, this week, a group of leading academics and harm prevention experts signed a joint letter of support for the markers of harm standard, indicating that its development would encourage research collaboration to improve the understanding of problem gambling and support harm prevention in Europe.

EGBA urges all gambling sector stakeholders, particularly gambling authorities, to support the standardisation proposal. EGBA is committed to promoting a strong culture of safer gambling and believes that creating a standardised list of markers of harm would benefit all stakeholders working to prevent gambling-related harm in Europe.

Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, EGBA, said: “We urge national standardisation bodies, gambling authorities, and other stakeholders to support this common-sense proposal to jointly develop a standard on markers of harm in Europe. A standard would be an essential element to help prevent risky and problem gambling behaviour and support consumer protection. The process to develop the standard would bring together the knowledge and expertise of academics, researchers, harm prevention experts and other stakeholders to work collaboratively towards the common purpose of preventing gambling-related harm.”

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