Members of CEN, the European Committee for Standardization, which is responsible for developing standards in Europe, have voted to create a European standard on markers of harm related to the behavior of online gamblers. The proposal for this standard was submitted to CEN by the European Gambling and Betting Association (EGBA) with the goal of promoting safer online gambling and improving player protection across Europe. This standard will provide a common set of guidelines for operators, governments, and other stakeholders to help identify and address any harmful behavior among players with the aim of enhancing player protection in Europe.
New European Standards on Markers of Harm
The research aims to define Markers of Harm and establish standards that will be applied across the European Union. Harmful cues refer to changes in a player’s behavior, such as the speed, frequency, and duration of play. These metrics can be used to help identify risky and harmful behaviors in online gamblers across the whole igaming industry. This will allow operators to identify and address any harmful behavior among players early on, thus preventing any negative consequences.
Behavioral markers of harm are crucial for creating effective early intervention mechanisms to prevent gambling-related harm. With this in mind, the EGBA has proposed a CEN standard that aims to address this issue at the European level by developing a standardized list of damage signs. This will help to ensure that operators can identify and address any harmful behavior among players early on, thus preventing any negative consequences.
The voting for CEN took place in December 2022 and work on creating the new set of standards is set to begin in the first quarter of 2023. The CEN process brings together multiple stakeholders such as academics, health professionals, gaming authorities, operators, and consumer organizations. These stakeholders participated in the discussions through nationally representative delegations. The CEN Final Standard is a voluntary instrument, but it can also be legally binding through legislation. This will allow the standard to be used as a guideline for the industry and government to ensure that players are protected and that the game is played responsibly.
In a press release on EGBS’s webiste, Maarten Haijer (Secretary General) commented: “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.“