EGBA Denies Online Casino Boom

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has come out in opposition to claims that widespread lockdowns in Europe will lead to a boom in online gambling. There have been many suggestions recently that the quarantines would lead to such a result. The EGBA, however, has suggested that the opposite effect will occur, and online gambling will decrease.

The European flag flying from a flagpole.

The European Gaming and Betting Association has suggested that a boom in the online casino industry is unlikely and as such some of the restrictions on advertising may unfairly punish operators. ©Capri23auto/Pixabay

In a recent statement, the EGBA disputed many of the claims that there would be a higher level of online gambling as people are at home more with more time on their hands. The association dismissed many of the assertions that have been made as unfounded and suggested that such a conclusion was a knee-jerk reaction to a problem.

The main reason that the EGBA is taking this stance is because the lockdowns across Europe have also led to the cancelation of nearly all sporting events on the continent. Since sports betting accounts for almost half of all the money wagered online in Europe, any increases in online casino play will not be sufficient to outweigh this, according to the association.

In the statement made by the EGBA, the association pointed to the recent figures for the gambling industry that have been projected by H2 Gambling Capital. These figures suggest that there will be an overall decrease in the revenue for the global market in 2020, mainly as a result of the financial impact that the novel coronavirus has had on the world market.

The EGBA went on to suggest that these figures show that many of the restrictions that regulators are introducing to advertising at present are unnecessary and also unfounded as the evidence seems to suggest players will not be gambling more as a result of the lockdown.

Before any figures were available for analysis, many predicted that there would be a dramatic increase in the amount of money wagered online and in the numbers of new registrations to gambling websites. The EGBA now believes that these concerns were incorrect, however.

According to the EGBA, these concerns were what caused the harsh restrictions on advertising in many countries. The association now feels that many regulators jumped the gun, however, and that many of these restrictions are unnecessary since less money is being wagered at present.

The association did remind players and operators of their responsibilities, however, and made it clear that operators should continue to effectively signpost and advertise the services that they provide to protect players and to help them gamble responsibly.

“The onus shouldn’t only be on the customers; online gambling companies should also act responsibly and be mindful of their social responsibilities during these difficult times”

The EGBA also emphasized the importance of self-exclusion during the lockdown as a means to protect players. This is a vital safety net according to the association and should ideally be implemented by individual operators as well as on a national level. This would help those who are at risk of suffering from gambling-related problems.

The Importance of Responsible Advertising

The EGBA made it clear that it still places a very high emphasis on the importance of responsible advertising in the industry.

Last month, the association released guidelines for operators to encourage them to advertise their products in a responsible and sustainable manner during the coronavirus pandemic. When it released these guidelines, the EGBA set out certain terms that were very well-received by the industry as a whole.

Here, the association made it clear that operators should not attempt to capitalize on the outbreak by advertising their products using COVID-19 as a tool to sell products. In this statement, the association again emphasized the importance of effective monitoring procedures from operators and for higher standards when it comes to player protection during the lockdown.

The EGBA has asked that operators do not advertise their products as any kind of solution to issues that players may be facing at the moment, be it financial or social. That being said, the more recent statement from the association seems to suggest that some of the controls on advertising may be too limiting, and could affect the success of the industry at a time when it is already suffering to some extent.

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