EC Waives Consumer Rights
Internet gamblers excluded from agreement.
A while ago the European Commission (EC) proposed the creation of a Consumer Rights Directive, it outlined specific rules and requirements businesses must stick to in their contracts with customers.
The main aim of this objective was to protect the consumer’s rights across the entire gamut of economic activity.
The Remote Gambling Association Limited (RGA) represents the globe’s biggest licensed and stock market-listed internet casinos, of which a large part comes from Europe. It champions the cause of the internet gambling industry pertaining to issues relating to regulators, legislators and major decision makers across the globe.
The RGA’s principal objective is the creation of a properly-regulated and secure gambling environment where a player can wager in a responsible manner. In essence the RGA welcomed the EC’s proposal for a Consumer Rights Directive to impose proper legislation that combated underage and problem gambling properly monitored by national regulatory authorities. The EC’s Consumer Rights Directive would have complemented national requirements and installed uniform practices all over Europe.
Unfortunately the RGA’s hopes were dashed as the negotiations progressed, many Member States in the Council decided to exclude internet gambling in its entirety from the Directive’s scope. The RGA voiced its concerns and stated that such exclusion deprived players from much needed protection available under the Directive. The exclusion also contradicts the present approach of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive in which gambling services are integrated.
The RGA blamed these member states for dislodging pan European consumer rights policies just so that their state owned internet casinos don’t have the responsibility of further obligations. A good example on this is the recent chastise given by the European Court of Justice to the German states that prevented private operators from entering the market on grounds of player protection but were involved in large-scale advertisements of state owned gambling sites. In fact, the RGA’s key objection is against internet casinos postulating that their products aid winning in games of chance.
RGA’s Chief Executive, Clive Hawkswood released a biting statement in a press release against this exclusion of internet gambling. The statement read as follow, “To say the least we are dissatisfied by the exclusion of gambling from the Consumer Rights Directive scope.
Once again this clearly shows us (RGA) that some Member States will do anything to shield its own gambling monopolies at the expense of players. The same parties falsely accuse the European private-sector for not wanting regulation and trying to avoid any EU obligation”.[addtoany]