European gaming regulators team up to deal with illegal gambling
The Gaming Regulators European Forum (GREF), a group of most of the European gaming regulators, has announced intention to make a concerted effort to promote safer gambling across the region.
Debates and arguments over “problem gambling” continue around the globe as there is no single definition to guide policy. So-called problem gambling is described by different people in different ways. Some call it a repetitive gambling behavior in spite of harm and negative consequences, while some describe it as a mental disorder. Thus, GREF is now looking to change this by determining a single definition to guide policy. GREF is also aware of the fact that illegal gambling is contributing to problem gambling.
Keen to tackle illegal gambling, members of the GREF have decided to hold a meeting in June to discuss the issues and find a way out. GREF has plans to start by tackling the growing number of illegal gaming operators. The organization believes that illegal gaming operators must be weeded out of the market.
The group of gaming regulators from European countries like Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, and the United Kingdom, wants to push gaming enthusiasts to regulated gaming platforms, which can be controlled and held accountable by governments. Doing so will raise the emphasis on responsible gambling, which in turn will help in reducing the levels of problem gambling.
In a recent statement, the GREF asserted that those individuals who access illegal gambling sites are at a higher risk of gambling harm, simply because such platforms don’t offer the same player safeguards and safe gambling measures that one can expect from a regulated gaming platform.
Therefore, members of the GREF have decided to join forces to get rid of unregulated or unlicensed gaming sites. The organization expects to eventually do away with the unregulated or illegal gaming platforms. To achieve that aim, regular meetings will be organized, information exchanges will be used, alerts will be issued, and best possible practices will be implemented.
However, it will be unquestionably an uphill task for the GREF as the approach might run into some hidden obstacles. Even the organization has admitted that each regulator is free to define what amounts to illegal gambling, which could decrease their effort’s effectiveness. Furthermore, the lack of a clear definition of illegal and problem gambling will make it almost impossible to implement unified guidelines.