EC demands gambling rules change

The European Commission is ready to come down hard on Denmark, Finland and Hungary if they do not comply with demands to change their national rules on sports betting services.

The Commission had received complaints that the three countries were blocking attempts from companies based in other European Union countries from operating there. Subsequently, the Commission has demanded that the countries amend their laws to move in line with the EU ruling that states there must be a free movement of services.

“The measures taken by these member states to restrict the free movement of sports betting services have not been shown to be necessary, proportionate and non-discriminatory,” the Commission said in a statement.

If the offending nations do not move in line with the demands they could be taken to court if they do not respond within two months.

The EC does allow a monopoly of forms to exist in a country if it is there for a specific and well-intended purpose. However, the EC noted that there was no evidence of these countries trying to protect consumers from problem gambling if they actively encouraged people to use state lotteries and other gambling services.

In addition, the Commission stated that national operators, such as gambling monopolies, cannot be considered non-profit organisations if they have strict revenue targets to reach and need commercial retail outlets to market their services.

Editor, - 2007-03-22 11:48:50

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