„Being able to identify problem gambling behaviour much earlier is the one thing that I think can transform the industry“, said Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), during a recent interview.
In the course of the conversation, Haijer commented that a better understanding of problem gambling could fundamentally change the sector. According to him, this will ensure that recreational players can continue to play in a safe and competitive environment, and, most importantly, help prevent gambling-related harm from occurring in the first place. He explained that EGBA has proposed a European standard on markers of harm, and the process to develop this voluntary standard will begin this year. The eventual standard will lead to a commonly agreed standardised list of markers of harm, based on the best available research, that operators can use to help them detect problem gambling behavior in a more accurate and timely way. He said that the process itself of creating the standard will be an invaluable opportunity for gambling stakeholders to come together, pull expertise, and collaborate on an issue of joint importance: safer gambling.
The General Secretary of EGBA explained that there needs to be a stronger culture of industry responsibility and cooperation across the entire gambling sector in Europe. He also added that far too many operators still sit on the periphery of the sector and do not take part in these processes. He commented that this attitude damages the whole sector. Haijer concluded by saying “For 2023, I hope for a more engaged, constructive, and outwardly looking industry”.