European countries have approved an EGBA proposal to establish a common European standard on markers of harm in a significant step forward for safer gambling in Europe.
Members of the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), the official body responsible for developing standards in Europe, have voted to create a European standard on markers of harm for online gambling. The proposal to establish the standard was submitted to CEN by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) with the aim of supporting safer online gambling and strengthening player protection in Europe.
Markers of harm are changes in a player’s online gambling behaviour, such as speed, time, and duration of play, that can be used to help identify risky or harmful gambling behaviour.
These markers are essential to the further development of effective early intervention mechanisms aimed at preventing gambling-related harm. Many organisations, including the health sector and gambling operators, already use markers of harm, but there is no commonly agreed list of behaviours which constitute markers of harm. The EGBA proposal to create a CEN standard aims to resolve that problem at the European level by creating a standardised list of markers of harm.
The CEN vote took place in December 2022, and work to create the standard is expected to commence in Q1 of 2023. The CEN process is designed to allow for a wide range of European stakeholders, including academics, health experts, gambling authorities, operators, and consumer organisations, to participate in the discussions via the national delegations represented in CEN. While the final CEN standard will be a voluntary tool, it can also be made legally binding through legislation.
“We’re delighted that CEN has approved EGBA’s proposal to establish a standardised list of markers of harm, and we thank its members for their support. This decision is a milestone and a significant step forward for safer gambling in Europe. We also thank our members for their strong commitment to safer gambling and unwavering support to make this proposal possible.
“The CEN process will provide a unique and valuable opportunity for key European stakeholders to pull together their resources and expertise to support safer gambling. We look forward to contributing the sector’s knowledge and experience to the process,” commented Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, EGBA.