Skip to main content
Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Commission work in the field of online gambling services

The European Commission supports EU countries’ efforts to modernise their national online gambling legal frameworks, in particular in the framework of administrative cooperation between gambling regulatory authorities. It also provides support to ensure a high level of protection for consumers and vulnerable people, including minors. In the area of standardisation, we requested the European Committee for Standardisation to develop a European voluntary standard on reporting in support of the supervision of online gambling services by national regulatory authorities.

Standard for reporting in support of supervision of online gambling services

Standard ‘EN17531 – Reporting in support of supervision of online gambling services by the gambling regulatory authorities of the Member States’ is a voluntary tool to facilitate the flow of information between regulatory authorities in EU countries, as well as gambling operators and suppliers.

The standard defines the core elements for reporting. It is without prejudice to the scope of competence of EU national authorities when it comes to the regulation of online gambling, and it does not impose any obligation on them to introduce reporting requirements or to provide or deny authorisation to gambling operators or suppliers.

The standard was adopted by the European Committee for Standardisation on 29 September 2021, following a request from the European Commission in April 2018. It can be purchased from CEN members in EU countries.

Closure of infringement procedures and complaints in the gambling sector

The Commission decided to close all open infringements and complaints in the sector on 7 December 2017.

Administrative cooperation between gambling regulatory authorities

On 27 November 2015, gambling regulatory authorities of EEA Member States signed a cooperation arrangement to enhance administrative cooperation. The cooperation arrangement follows other initiatives announced in the Communication, 'Towards a comprehensive European framework for online gambling'.

The arrangement covers a number of different areas:

  • the organisation of gambling, including tender procedures, verification of information provided by other authorities and exchange of technical expertise
  • the supervision of compliance with national laws, including the protection of consumers, prevention of money laundering and fraud, and betting related to match-fixing
  • practical cooperation to assist authorities in their day-to-day supervisory function
  • sharing of good practices

The cooperation arrangement is accompanied by files ('gateways') on the participating countries. These gateways provide information on the role and remit of national authorities, areas they would like to share information on, competences of other national authorities with regards to gambling, as well as any limitations in laws e.g. regarding data protection.

Recommendation on protecting consumers and minors

In 2014, the Commission adopted the Recommendation on principles for the protection of consumers and players of online gambling services and the prevention of minors from gambling. The recommendation encourages EU countries to ensure a high level of protection for consumers and minors through the adoption of principles for online gambling services and for responsible advertising and sponsorship.

Communication on gambling

In 2012, the European Commission adopted the Communication 'Towards a comprehensive European framework on online gambling', accompanied by a staff working paper. Based on an in-depth public consultation, this Communication sets out an action plan to enhance clarity on gambling issues throughout the EU for national authorities, operators, related industries such as media service providers, and consumers.

Expert group on gambling

The Commission set up a group of experts on gambling services in 2012, with a mandate expiring in 2018. This group provided the Commission with advice and expertise for the preparation of policy initiatives. It also facilitated the exchange of regulatory experience and good practice between EU countries.

Gambling expert group documents, including meeting minutes and agendas