The Gaming Regulators European Forum – [GREF]

1 May 2018, by GambleScope Research Team

What is GREF

The Gaming Regulators European Forum or commonly known as GREF is a responsible regulatory gaming and gambling institution with extensive origin in Europe. Since its inception on September 7th in 1989, the company has not only grown by leaps and bounds but also strived to serve the needs of a diverse clientele worldwide. As a seasoned gaming institution, the Gaming Regulators European Forum has consistently offered unrivalled services by lending adequate emphasis on two critical aspects:

  • Provide a consultative platform through which European gaming controllers can brainstorm and discuss critical policies on gaming and gambling matters.
  • Represent the various views of European Gaming Regulators on specified matters and more importantly with the overwhelming consensus of participants.
  • Serve as a central point of settling inquiries directed by European authorities and associated institutions worldwide.

The History of GREF

Just like any other company, GREF didn’t turn out to be the company it is without starting from the bottom. September 7th, 1989 is accurately believed to be GREF’s inception when a consultative meeting of 16 gaming regulators including Portugal, Spain, England, France, and the Netherlands convened to tend to their common welfare. The meeting was proposed in the aftermath of unregulated gaming and gambling activities which exposed customers to unfathomable scams. It was overwhelmingly agreed that a regulatory forum of European members was needed to maintain sanity and order in the industry.

Held at the Hotel Princesa Sofia in Barcelona, the Gaming Regulators European Forum brought to life a series of educational strategies and actions aimed at controlling gambling activities across Europe. Such an audacious move would be followed by subsequent meetings over the years as several policies took effect.

As of 2017, several amendments associated with the review of the Constitution and the incorporation of additional features in the E-Gambling platform redefined the gambling industry to its best version. Aside from tweaking its Executive Board by bringing on-board new members, the Gaming Regulators and European Forum had showcased its commitment to living up to its reputation and offering exceptional services. Alternatively, several nations such as Estonia, Norway, Montenegro, and Bulgaria had been inducted into the distinguished group.

Who are they and Who they Represent

In essence, participating in the Gaming Regulators European Forum is virtually open to agents of all regulatory institutions in European nations. However, plans are in place to delve into international markets with an eye to capitalising on the highly profitable market.

- The Executive Board

According to the 2012 GREF Constitution, the Executive Board comprises of nine highly talented and skilled members made up of executive officers from a number of European gaming authorities and commissions worldwide. Included are the jurisdictions of the Isle of Man, Alderney, Denmark, and Norway. The other Board members comprise of a group of seasoned experts in their respective fields bringing valuable additions to the team

Organisational Focus and Objectives

The Gaming Regulators European Forum has uniquely crafted its capacity to deliver outstanding services by narrowing its scope of focus to three critical aspects, administered as working groups:

- E-Gambling and Technical Issues

The designated group tasked with E-Gambling and Technical Issues (WGEGTI) focuses on sharing information and exchanging views to inherently develop a better understanding of the e-Gambling sector. But more importantly, much emphasis is also shifted to addressing the risks associated with e-Gambling while also striving to ensure that the policy and legal constraints of members are safeguarded.

- Responsible Gambling and Addiction

The working group unilaterally aims at upholding citizen and consumer protection, promoting responsible advertising and addressing gambling addiction with alternative solutions. The working group is currently co-chaired by Saaramia Varvio who has extensive experience and knowledge in Gambling Administration from the Finnish National Police Board. Jonny Engebo also lends in his perspective from the Norwegian Gaming Authority.

- Information and Statistics

Widely considered to be a fundamental aspect of the program, the designated working group executes the maintenance and development of regulatory officers and informal network of experts to deliberate and provide relevant statistical data from GREF member states yearly. Co-chaired by Flora Felso and Michael Herborn, the duo has demonstrated remarkable finesse in taking the working group to new heights. Their respective portfolios from the Netherlands and Danish Gambling Authority respectively speak volumes about their competence in meeting set goals and objectives.

- The Regulator’s Area

The Regulator’s Area serves as an informative platform through which members can share invaluable knowledge and experiences with peers. At its core, the GREF strives to become a fountain for reference material, comments and useful documentation in each aspect of gambling. It is virtually available to all employees that have been cleared to have eligible authority. As a gamer, you might wonder who an eligible authority is. Well, we’ve got that handle merely because it refers to an institution that legislates, supervises and licenses any facet of gambling with an eye to ensuring internal sovereignty across Europe.

The Benefit GREF Brings to the Gaming Industry

GREF is in every respect a platform for regional regulators and vested interests to meet and discuss relevant issues relating to the gaming industry. In a nutshell; the Gaming Regulators European Forum has practically elevated gambling activities to higher expectations. Not only do customers laud it for their exemplary services but also promote it beyond the European market.