The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has welcomed recent plans from the European Commission (EC) in order to create an electronic identity wallet (e-ID) to allow European Union (EU) citizens to access public and private services online. This EC proposal, which amends the Commission’s previous eIDAS regulation, would oblige all EU bodies to offer the e-ID and permit for citizens to utilize it anywhere in the EU to identify and authenticate themselves to access services in both the public and private segments.
The new identity verification technology could be beneficial for many online sectors in Europe, including online gambling. In relation to customers, it would provide a reliable way for iGaming bettors in every EU country to verify their identity in an easy and secure manner. It would also allow them to control what information they wish to share. Regarding remote gambling operators, it would offer them a new, streamlined method for compliance with the different national Know-Your-Customer requirements, such as age verification, which they must comply with in the EU. A standardized identity verification system would particularly help reduce administrative and compliance costs for those iGaming operators who work across multiple European jurisdictions. Finally, regulators would also be favored. They could more easily identify customers and support operators’ compliance in their jurisdiction. It could also positively impact the EU fight against criminal and fraudulent activity.
The adoption of a European e-ID could also generate €9.6 billion in benefits for the EU economy and create up to 27,000 jobs over a five-year period, according to the European Commission. Currently, 14 EU countries have e-ID schemes, of which only 7 include mobile apps. By 2030, the Commission has set a target that 80% of EU citizens use e-ID.
About this important project, Ekaterina Hartmann, Director, EGBA, declared: “An ever-increasing number of Europeans are using online services. A common electronic identification method would help them to access online services in a practical, secure way, which safeguards their data. We welcome the proposal for a Europe-wide e-ID, which would have significant positive impacts on the way KYC is conducted in Europe’s online gambling sector. Moreover, it would help establish more common approaches to identity verification. An EU e-ID would, for example, help strengthen existing processes to prevent minors from accessing online gambling and to fight fraud and money laundering.”