European Gaming & Betting AssociationBy: Mark Freedman, Thursday January 29th 2009
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The European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA) was founded on March 27, 2007. It replaced the earlier body the European Betting Association, which was founded in 2003. The EGBA was founded by seven leading online gaming operators of Europe. They are Bet-at-home, Party Gaming, Bwin, Carmen Media Group, Expekt Sportwetten, Interwetten Gaming Limited and Digibet. The EGBA is a non-profit organization that is financed through membership fees and donations from its members.
The EGBA has two major objectives. The first is to create a uniform online gaming industry in Europe so that all European online gaming operators can offer their services across the continent. It believes that this objective is consistent with the overall philosophy of the European Union. In the fulfillment of this objective it is taking up the issue with European governments that are monopolizing or banning online gambling, taking legal recourse if needed. The second is to foster fair, secure and responsible gambling among the gaming operators and players. To this end it has created a code of conduct that is followed by all its members. The EGBA had recently commissioned a study that demonstrated that its members had better control over issues related to fairness, security and problem gambling than the monopolies operated by the governments of some of the European countries. Its vision for the future is a regulated but competitive gaming industry in Europe that will embody both its objectives. This vision and these objectives are reflected in its mission statement.
Gaming operators who want to become members of the EGBA have to comply with its stringent requirements. The important ones are to carry out an in depth check of their customers to ensure that the customers are not carrying out illegal or fraudulent activities. The operators have to provide a 24/7 customer service to the players. The system employed by the operators has to allow players to set maximum betting limits for themselves. This is to foster responsible gambling. All members are required to have their operations audited annually by qualified independent agencies.
Prevention of money laundering through online gambling and advocating responsible gambling among players are special initiatives of the EGBA. With respect to the former the EGBA insists that its members implement an anti money laundering policy in order to avoid transactions that may be connected to money laundering. In order to prevent problem gambling the members of the EGBA have put in place a mechanism for the detection of possible problem gamblers operating at their sites and also provide links to organizations that counsel problem gamblers. The EGBA members cannot grant credit to the players. The EGBA is celebrating the 17th of February 2009 as Responsible Gaming Day.
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