Gambling regulators in six European countries have committed to increasing their monitoring of scratch card games amid their potential attraction to underage players.

Scratch card

The watchdogs in Britain, France, Spain, Austria, Germany and Portugal said they will work together to ensure “effective implementation” of their respective player protection policies on the gaming product.

The increased focus on underage players, a joint statement said, comes as the games may appear "harmless to the public” when shared between parents and minors, “but they are a gambling product which carries risk.”

The Gambling Commission, L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux, DGOJ, the Austrian Ministry of Finance, the GGL in Germany and Portugal’s SRIJ noted scratch card games take up a “significant size” of their respective markets.

A meeting in Vienna, Austria, between June 11-12 was held to discuss the increased oversight.

The regulators also committed to monitor player protection in the debate between regulatory requirements in European Union member states and the EU’s Court of Justice.

“We would like to recall that, although the European Union guarantees the free provision of services and freedom of establishment, including for gambling operators, the CJEU recognised that member states can impose proportionate restrictions on these freedoms to regulate gambling, and in particular to protect players through national laws,” a statement said.

“However, many of us have noticed that these principles are increasingly being called into question in our various jurisdictions, in particular through certain preliminary reference procedures.

“We now wish to cooperate, or even intervene, in these proceedings in order to guarantee compliance with the Court's case law protecting players."