EGBA promotes Haijer

3 April 2013

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) trade group has promoted Maarten Haijer to the post of Secretary General in place of the departing Sigrid Ligne.

The EGBA is a trade group representing some of Europe's leading online gaming operators including bwin.party Digital Entertainment, Interwetten Group and Unibet Group and revealed that Haijer has served as its Regulatory Affairs Director since 2008 helping to represent the interests of its members.

“On behalf of the EGBA's member companies I would like to thank Sigrid Ligne sincerely for spearheading the EGBA's considerable achievements at a crucial time for European online gaming operators and for the development of the industry as a whole,” said Norbert Teufelberger, Chairman for the EGBA and Chief Executive Officer for bwin.party.

“We are sorry to see Sigrid go but wish her all success in her new challenges. We warmly welcome Maarten Haijer as our new Secretary General. With his experience and vision we are confident that he will drive forward our efforts for safe and fair operating conditions in Europe.”

Before joining the EGBA ranks, Haijer worked as the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Counsellor for The Netherlands’ Permanent Representation to the European Union where he helped to negotiate ‘several proposals’ for harmonisation and dealt with European Union and World Trade Organisation trade issues for the Ministry of Economic Affairs before this.

“It was a pleasure to work with Sigrid for many years and I wish her all the best,” said Haijer.

“I am honoured by the appointment as Secretary General for the EGBA and the confidence EGBA members have shown in me. I am fully aware of the challenging job ahead of us in creating a uniformly safe environment for the playing public and in obtaining equitable treatment for European Union-based operators.

“The EGBA is firmly committed to working together with European Union institutions and member states to achieve both of these goals. Where discriminatory national rules persist, we rely on the Commission as guardian of the treaties to keep its word and refer member states to the Court of Justice of the European Union.”

“I have had the privilege to lead the EGBA at a time of significant progress in the European Union debate on online gambling,” said Ligne.

“I am pleased to note that European Union institutions and other stakeholders are now engaged in a constructive exchange on how smart regulatory design can achieve our common goals. By appointing Maarten Haijer to take up the baton in the continuing efforts to persuade policymakers of the merits of market-based solutions, the EGBA can be sure that its cause is in excellent hands.”