The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has today published a Code of Conduct on data protection which establishes dedicated sector-specific rules and best practices to ensure compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 and promotes the highest standards of data protection in the online gambling sector.
The Code of Conduct on Data Protection in Online Gambling sets long-term data protection standards for Europe’s online gambling sector and is intended to complement and reinforce the sector’s compliance with the GDPR. The Code is one of Europe’s first ever sector-specific self-regulatory initiatives to support compliance with the GDPR. The Code is part of EGBA’s wider efforts to drive standards in the online gambling sector and is in accordance with the GDPR, which encourages the use of sector-specific codes to support the proper application of its provisions.
The Code introduces specific measures and best practices on:
- Enhancing portability rights – including rules to enable customers to transfer their personal data from company to company in an easier and secure way (including rules for player account registration, transactions history, marketing preferences, etc).
- Protecting against breaches of personal data – online gambling companies are required to introduce a plan to prevent and/or mitigate against breaches of personal data.
- Establishing VIP accounts – how companies should establish player accounts for “VIP” customers in a way which respects privacy and the use of personal data.
- Safer gambling – how companies should balance a customer’s privacy rights against the need to protect them from problem gambling.
- Direct marketing – guidance on how to protect customer data during direct marketing and to prevent self-excluded customers from receiving direct marketing.
- Detecting fraud – measures to prevent fraud and ensure data is used to comply with applicable laws.
All EGBA members will adhere to the Code and it is also open for signature to other online gambling companies licensed in the EU/EEA. Compliance with the Code will be monitored by an independent third-party monitoring body.
In line with the requirements of the GDPR, the Code has now been submitted to the Maltese Data Protection Authority for formal approval of the Code’s compliance with GDPR. This is a process which involves data protection authorities in other EU countries, and the European Data Protection Board, and can last between 18-24 months.
“On the 2-year anniversary of the GDPR, issues around data protection, privacy and the use of personal data are still a concern for many European citizens. That’s why we’re pleased to introduce this new code which demonstrates the online gambling sector’s commitment to protecting the personal data of our 16.5 million customers and supporting the success of the GDPR. We’re pleased to be one of Europe’s first industry sectors to introduce a self-regulatory code which supports compliance with GDPR. Data, and how it is used, is playing an increasing important role in how citizens and business interact online – and the online gambling sector is no different. This code outlines how online gambling companies should ensure their customers understand how their personal data is being used and provides important guidance on how companies should use personal data in their interactions with customers, including how they identify and address problem gambling behavior in their customers.” – Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, EGBA.