Calls For Change in EU Gambling Laws

04 June 2010

A very loud call has been made for the overhaul of the EU gambling laws after the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in a case that the Netherlands could block a bookmaker and a betting exchange from offering bets to Dutch citizens. The court ruled that the Netherlands could block Ladbrokes and Betfair from offering bets if their purpose was to combat “fraud and crime”.

Both companies stated that they believe the real reason behind the ruling was to maintain DeLotto’s state licensed monopoly.

Betfair denies the idea that online gambling is more dangerous than other forms of gambling. Tim Phillips, Betfair’s Public Affairs Chief for Europe, state: “Today’s judgment once again demonstrates the need for the European Commission to take a lead on this issue, so that we can separate fact from fiction and settle the online gambling debate once and for all.”

Ladbroke’s representatives stated that Holland’s position is this case was “hard to reconcile with its expansive gambling policy, which is characterized by the introduction and active advertising, marketing and promotion of new gaming products”.

Sigrid Ligné, the Secretary General of EGBA, the entity representing the electronic gambling industry, stated: “The internet raises new questions and challenges that cannot be resolved through the judicial process”. She further urged the Netherlands to follow other European states which have decided to liberalize their gambling laws.

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