European betting company customers are set to receive a new level of protection with the news that the region’s leading industry body has launched new rules for its members.

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has released a new Code of Conduct that governs how online gambling firms should approach data protection, further strengthening their commitment to upholding the European Union’s GDPR regulations.

The code of conduct, which will be adhered to by all EGBA members, will detail a number of data protection measures that operators should take to ensure that the industry continues to enforce a high level of compliance with the best data protection practices. Individual compliance with the code is set to be monitored by a third-party organisation and will focus on a number of areas.

These include enhancing what are known as ‘portability rights’ which enable customers to move their personal data from company to company in a quicker and more secure way. This includes rules related to player account registration and marketing preferences.

Operators will also have to commit to supporting transparency. This includes adhering to a set list of details that need to be included in a privacy policy, and those areas that can be excluded. Operators will be obligated to bring in plans that will prevent breaches of personal data, and to ensure that their method of setting up VIP accounts respects the privacy and personal data of the customers.

In addition, gambling operators will be given clear guidance on how to balance the need to protect a customer from problem gambling, with the requirement to protect their privacy, including guidance on the issues of direct marketing and respecting self exclusion. New measures will also be suggested in the area of fraud prevention to offer more protection for customers.

Speaking about the rules, the Secretary General of EGBA, Maarten Haijer, said that they were pleased to be able to bring forward a new code, demonstrating the commitment of the industry to protecting customer data, on the two year anniversary of the successful launch of 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 increasingly important role in how citizens and businesses interact online, and the online gambling sector is no different.”

Haijer added that the code would set out clear rules on how online gambling companies should make sure that their customers know how their personal data is being used. He said that it also offers clear guidance for operators on how to use that personal data in all of their customer interactions, with particular focus on the issue of problem gambling behaviour.

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