The European Lotteries (EL) has urged authorities to make a clear distinction between gambling and video gaming, following a report published by the European Parliament (EP) on gaming in the EU.
Among the topics dissected in the study were the protection of gamers and the growth potential of the video games industry.
The “Consumer Protection in Online Video Games – A European Single Market Approach” report – which was adopted with 577 votes in favour, 56 against and 15 abstentions – asks for ‘harmonised rules to give parents a good overview of and control over what games their children play as well as how much time and money they spend playing’.
Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Jan 19, EP rapporteur and Spanish politician Adriana Maldonado López noted the industry’s “positives”, but highlighted the social risks attached, such as the effect on mental health.
“This is something that can particularly affect younger gamers,” she said. “We need to harmonise EU rules, ensuring strengthened consumer protection and with a specific focus on minors.”
Responding to the report later in the day, the EL said a ‘clear separation line’ needs to be maintained between gambling and gaming, outlining the ‘clear’ jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ).
“All issues involving gambling – including defining what gambling is and what it is not – fall within the exclusive competence of the Member States and should continue to be addressed by the relevant authorities at the national level,” the EL stated.
Arjan van ‘t Veer, EL Secretary General, added: ‘’EL welcomes the resolution driven from own-initiative reports of the European Parliament, which calls to ensure adequate protection of consumers and for great transparency.
‘’However, the separation between gambling and gaming should be maintained to regulate gambling on the national level.’’
Furthermore, the EL further remarked that, ‘as the largest sector association for lotteries and toto organisations in Europe’, it is prepared to get ‘actively involved’ in the discussion.