EGBA Welcomes European Parliament’s Approval of New European Digital Identity

March 11, 2024 | Government

BRUSSELS Belgium (March 8, 2024) — New EU regulation will oblige member states to provide their citizens with a standardised EU electronic identification method to enable citizens to identify and authenticate their identity online, while remaining voluntary for citizens and businesses to use.

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) welcomes the recent approval by the European Parliament of a Regulation introducing a new European Digital Identity (e-ID). The Parliament’s endorsement of the e-ID marks a significant milestone in the journey towards a more secure and inclusive digital environment for all citizens across the European Union (EU). The new e-ID will be a transformative tool that addresses several concerns in the digital sphere.According to the Regulation, adopted by the Parliament on 29 February, the e-ID will allow citizens to identify and authenticate themselves online without having to resort to commercial providers – a practice that has, in the past, raised trust, security and privacy concerns related to the sharing of consumer data with third-party platforms. Using such a standardised, non-commercial identification method will ensure greater privacy protection for consumers, among other benefits. Additionally, the e-ID enhances security by offering consumers and businesses a trusted and standardised tool for online identification, minimising the risk of identity theft and fraud.

This streamlined approach will not only increase user confidence in digital transactions but will also reduce costs and administration for businesses, including gambling operators, by providing a singular verification tool they can use across the EU, instead of paying high fees for the use of commercial databases. The success of the e-ID will of course depend on a high participation rate among citizens.[1] The use of the e-ID will be entirely voluntary for citizens and businesses, including gambling operators. Thus, gambling operators have the flexibility to determine whether they wish to integrate the e-ID tool into their know-your-customer processes.

EGBA has been a supporter of the e-ID since it was proposed by the European Commission in 2021, recognising its potential to revolutionise the way online services are accessed and utilised in the EU, offering a streamlined and secure means for individuals to verify their identity and engage in various digital activities. Since the proposal, EGBA has been encouraging the EU institutions to ensure that businesses, including gambling operators, can access and use the e-ID and benefit from its use. For the online gambling sector, the e-ID holds particular significance, as it provides players with an easy, secure, trustworthy, and singular option to confirm their identity in the EU.

The e-ID law, which amends the EU’s eIDAS Regulation, will now have to be formally endorsed by the EU Council of Ministers before its official adoption, expected before summer 2024. As a Regulation, it will automatically apply across all EU member states from the moment of its adoption.

“We welcome the European Parliament’s approval of a unified digital identity framework and are confident that the use of the new e-ID in our sector will lead to a more seamless and trustworthy online experience for players and help to reduce costs and administration for gambling operators. This innovative tool represents an important step towards building a more secure and user-friendly digital ecosystem, aligning with EGBA’s core objectives of promoting integrity, transparency, and a safe, consumer-centric playing environment.” – Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, EGBA.

[1] The European Commission has set a target that 80% of EU citizens will use an e-ID by 2030.

About EGBA

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) is the Brussels-based trade association representing the leading online gambling operators established, licensed, and regulated within the EU, including bet365, Betsson Group, Entain, Flutter, Kindred Group, and 888 William Hill, while Aircash is an associate member. EGBA works together with national and EU authorities and other stakeholders towards a well-regulated and well-channelled online gambling market which provides a high level of consumer protection and takes account of the realities of the internet and online consumer demand. EGBA members meet the highest regulatory standards and together possess 267 online gambling licenses to serve 31.2 million customers across 22 different European countries. They represent approximately one-third of Europe’s online gambling gross gaming revenue (GGR).

SOURCE: The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA).