A European Union gambling industry association is backing a proposed continental digital ID even though it has some concerns.
In supporting a single eID for the EU, industry leaders are aligned with the European Commission, which has said it wants 80 percent of citizens to have an eID by 2030.
Eleven of 28 nations represented by the commission are already debating digital IDs for their respective electorates, according to the European Gaming and Betting Association, or EGBA. Only four were seriously considering such a move in 2018.
Standardizing identification and digitizing it is expected to make commerce and travel between EU countries more efficient and to help cut down on crime. Many large businesses could benefit from the idea, but the set of headaches that eIDs would address for casinos and related sectors might be unique.
Like financial firms, gambling outfits (online or otherwise) have to comply with voluminous and evolving anti-money laundering and know-your-customer rules.
They also have to monitor and analyze account activity trends the way a credit firm does to spot fraud. Except they typically are trying to entice each customer to the tables as often as possible.
The industry also has to authenticate age and demographic details while respecting privacy laws as do retailers.
Then there are self-exclusion registries that are kept — separately — by 17 EU nations. Players who have a problem with gambling can voluntarily put their name in a country’s registry, which will prohibit them from gambling.
Digital IDs would make addressing each of these challenges across the EU easier and, potentially, less costly.
Distrust of an EU-wide ID database could doom the effort, and there are worries about how an eID would work specifically with multiple self-exclusion registries.
Still, an EU eID would seem to be a natural step for the alliance. One of the chief reasons the union was formed in 1958 was to make business between neighboring states more efficient and less expensive.