Despite the economic significance and cross border nature of the market, there is no EU legislation harmonising the gaming and betting sector yet. However, a number of EU (consumer protection) directives do cover specific aspects of the activity. These include the distance selling, unfair commercial practises and data protection directives.
In addition, all EU licensed and regulated gaming operators are subject to the harmonised rules and regulations for EU companies as laid down in EU company law (see link).
The aspects that are not covered by these harmonisation instruments are regulated by the national legislation of Member States, which need to comply with the requirement of the EU Treaty provisions.
The directives that are applicable are:
The Distance Selling Directive (see link) applies to any consumer distance contract made under the law of an EU-Member State as well as the European Economic Area (EEA). It provides a number of fundamental legal rights for consumers in order to ensure a high level of consumer protection throughout the EU.
The Unfair Commercial Practise Directive (see link) includes a general ban on unfair commercial practises but also details a number of specific practices that are prohibited throughout the EU, such as misleading and aggressive marketing.
The Notification Directive (see link) obliges Member States to notify to the Commission all draft technical regulations concerning inter alia Information Society Services before they are adopted in national law. The procedure aims at providing transparency and control with regard to these regulations as they could create unjustified barriers between Member States.
The Data Protection Directive (see link) harmonises data protection legislation in the EU to remove potential obstacles to the flows of Personal Data and to ensure a high level of protection within the EU.
The 3rd Anti-money Laundering Directive (see link) has been adopted to help protect the financial system and other vulnerable professions and activities from being misused for money laundering and financing of terrorism purposes.