EL advocacy brochure for policymakers and what the new European Commission means for the lottery sector

Advocating the interests of EL members is an important statutory task of the Association. Initiatives at EU level can be driven by either the European Commission or by the European Parliament or other relevant bodies such as the OECD. With the new European Parliament and Commission in place for the period 2019-2024, EL it set to continue to monitor and actively participate in relevant policy developments, working closely with its members or other gambling related associations or partners where needed.

In light of the new European political landscape, EL is pleased to present its new advocacy brochure, developed in close collaboration with the EL Public Affairs Working Group. This new brochure allows EL and its members to call on European policymakers to sustain the current widespread and successful model of national lotteries in Europe, safeguard the benefits of national lotteries for society and support national gambling policies through the principle of subsidiarity.

EL fully supports the continued application of the principle of subsidiarity in the gambling sector, as the key element to secure and safeguard the common objectives of general interest: protection of consumers, particularly minors, the fight against gambling addiction and the fight against illegal operators.

The new brochure presents EL’s core values – responsibility, society/sustainability and integrity – and its commitment to addressing illegal gambling and related criminal activities while minimising any potential harm on society and vulnerable groups, with for example the EL Responsible Gaming Standard. It also highlights the importance of strict regulation, based on national principles to ensure that the games EL members provide can be played in a safe and transparent environment as well as showcasing the long-standing national tradition of lotteries and their fundamental contributions to society, culture and sport.

With a new European Parliament and European Commission, EL will continue to closely monitor EU policy developments and use this new advocacy tool together with members to be in the forefront to discuss and defend the successful EL lottery model in EU Member States. EL will share the new brochure with policymakers, namely Members of the European Parliament and Commission/Cabinet officials in the new year.

Brochure available here >>

European flags in front of the Berlaymont building, headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels.

Looking ahead: What does the new European Commission mean for lotteries?

The European Commission helps to shape the overall EU strategy by proposing new EU laws and policies. It is therefore of crucial importance to timely identify any initiatives of the new Commission, headed by President Ursula von der Leyen (2019-2024) – legislative and non-legislative alike – that might have an impact on the gambling sector and address them as necessary.

By taking a look back at the past five years (2014 – 2019), the Juncker Commission dealt with several initiatives of relevance to the gambling sector. In particular – when it comes to the legislative ones – it addressed issues such as data protection, free flow on non-personal data, geo-blocking and online intermediation services. It further addressed consumer protection through contract rules on the supply of digital content, as well as through the introduction of better enforcement and modernisation of consumer protection rules and representative actions for the protection of the collective interest of consumers. As it seems for the time being, the new Commission’s top legislative initiatives which could have the most impact on the gambling sector are the ones on the much-rumoured Digital Services Act and Artificial Intelligence.

Digital Services Act

In the EU, legal framework for online services in the Internal Market is enshrined in the e-Commerce Directive which entered into force almost 20 years ago and which remains valid in its original form until today. In response to growing concerns of some stakeholders that the increased diversity of digital services used today, as well as the increased scale of their use since the Directive’s adoption, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced an upgrade of the EU liability and safety rules for digital platforms, services and products with a new Digital Services Act. How exactly will this Act look like and what will it entail is not entirely clear for the time being.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence and other technological innovations provided businesses – including gambling operators – with a powerful tool to systematically monitor their customers’ behaviour and gather their personal data in order to predict their future performance and offer more personalised customer service. However, such advances also raise important questions on consumer and data protection rights and how a sustainable approach towards Artificial Intelligence should be established. In her political guidelines, von der Leyen committed to put forward legislation for a coordinated European approach on the human and ethical implications of Artificial Intelligence in her first 100 days in the office.

…and not only legislative initiatives!

The previous Commission also dealt with the gambling sector in a non-legislative manner. Notably, it decided to close all the pending gambling-related infringement probes and complaints, as well as not to renew the mandate of the Commission Expert Group on Gambling Services following its expiration at the end of 2018. By doing so, it very clearly underlined that when it comes to gambling – primary responsibility lies in the hands of the EU Member States. While there are no indicators that any non-legislative initiatives related to gambling which would reverse these developments are planned by the new Commission for the time being, it is nevertheless extremely important for EL to remain vigilant on this front, too.

EU Digital Policy: Who is who?

The core “digital policy duo” of the new Commission is set to be comprised of the Executive Vice-President for a “Europe fit for the Digital Age”, Margrethe Vestager (Denmark) acting as the leading force and the Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton (France). The duo will further be supported by the Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders (Belgium) who will deal with data privacy issues and consumer protection.

Next steps

The new Commission is now expected to issue a Work Programme for 2020 in which it will outline how the political priorities set out by the President will be put into practice. EL will continue to monitor and actively participate in any relevant developments at the EU level – legislative and non-legislative alike – in order to safeguard the continued application of the principle of subsidiarity in the regulation of the gambling sector in the EU as the key element to secure the common objectives of general interest: the protection of consumers, the fight against gambling addiction and the fight against the illegal operators.

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Nouvelle brochure du plaidoyer d’EL pour les décideurs politiques et ce que la nouvelle Commission européenne implique pour le secteur de la loterie

La nouvelle brochure du plaidoyer d’EL permettra à EL et à ses membres d’en appeler aux décideurs politiques européens pour soutenir le modèle à succès actuel largement répandu de loteries nationales en Europe, protéger les avantages des loteries nationales pour la société et soutenir les politiques nationales en matière de jeux de hasard en vertu du principe de subsidiarité.

EL continue de surveiller et de participer activement aux développements politiques pertinents au niveau européen. Avec une nouvelle Commission européenne, il est important d’identifier toutes les initiatives, législatives et non législatives, qui peuvent avoir un impact sur le secteur des jeux et d’y répondre si nécessaire. D’après les directives politiques du président, le plus intéressant sera le travail de la Commission sur la nouvelle loi sur les services numériques et l’intelligence artificielle.

La nouvelle Commission devrait publier son Programme de travail 2020 soulignant la manière dont les priorités politiques établies par le Président seront mises en pratique. EL continuera de surveiller et de participer activement à tout développement pertinent au niveau de l’UE afin de protéger l’application continue du principe de subsidiarité dans la réglementation du secteur des jeux dans l’UE.


Nuevo folleto de concienciación de EL para los responsables de las políticas sobre lo que la nueva Comisión Europea supone para el sector de la lotería

Un nuevo folleto de concienciación de EL permitirá a EL y a sus miembros recurrir a los responsables europeos de las políticas para mantener el modelo generalizado y favorable actual de loterías nacionales en Europa, salvaguardar los beneficios de las loterías nacionales para la sociedad y apoyar las políticas nacionales de apuestas a través del principio de subsidiariedad.

EL continúa supervisando y participando de forma activa en el desarrollo de las políticas correspondientes de la UE. Con una nueva Comisión Europea, es importante identificar cualquier iniciativa, tanto legislativa como no legislativa, que pueda tener un impacto en el sector de apuestas, y abordarla como corresponda. De acuerdo con las orientaciones políticas del presidente, el trabajo de la Comisión en la nueva Ley de Servicios Digitales e Inteligencia Artificial será una de las cuestiones de mayor interés.

Se espera que la nueva Comisión publique su Programa de Trabajo 2020, que describe cómo se pondrán en práctica las prioridades políticas establecidas por el presidente. EL seguirá supervisando y participando de forma activa en cualquier acto de desarrollo pertinente a nivel de la UE con el fin de salvaguardar la aplicación ininterrumpida del principio de subsidiariedad en el reglamento del sector de apuestas en la UE.


Neue EL-Beratungsbroschüre für politische Entscheidungsträger und was die neue Europäische Kommission für die Lotteriebranche bedeutet

Eine neue EL-Beratungsbroschüre erlaubt es EL und seinen Mitgliedern, die politischen Entscheidungsträger Europas dazu aufzurufen, das aktuell weitverbreitete und erfolgreiche Modell nationaler Lotterien auch weiterhin zu fördern, den Nutzen nationaler Lotterien zum Wohl der Gesellschaft zu schützen und nationale Glücksspielrichtlinien nach dem Subsidiaritätsprinzip zu unterstützen.

Die EL nimmt auch zukünftig aktiv an relevanten politischen Entwicklungen auf EU-Ebene teil und überwacht diese. Angesichts einer neuen Europäischen Kommission ergibt sich die Aufgabe, alle Initiativen, ob legislativer oder nichtlegislativer Art, die möglicherweise Auswirkungen auf den Glücksspielsektor haben könnten, zu identifizieren und diesen erforderlichenfalls zu begegnen. Den politischen Leitlinien der neuen Präsidentin zufolge wird der Schwerpunkt der Arbeit der Kommission auf dem neuen „Digital Services Act“ und Künstlicher Intelligenz liegen.

Die neue Kommission wird ihr Arbeitsprogramm voraussichtlich 2020 veröffentlichen. Darin soll umrissen werden, wie die von der Präsidentin festgelegten politischen Prioritäten in die Praxis umgesetzt werden sollen. Die EL wird weiterhin alle relevanten Entwicklungen auf EU-Ebene beobachten und aktiv daran teilnehmen, um die fortgesetzte Anwendung des Subsidiaritätsprinzips bei der Regulierung des Glücksspielsektors in der EU zu gewährleisten.

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