Tag Archives: online gambling news

Gaming companies want freedom of movement

Gambling operators eager to tap into the monopolized European market, will have an even longer wait as the two Dutch gaming cases involving Ladbrokes, Betfair, and the Dutch State monopoly De Lotto, continue at the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

According to law, the EU member states can legally grant a single Operator the right to run betting and gaming operations. However, the Operators have argued that this limits their mobility and is in breach of the core EU principles on “freedom of movement”. The ECJ is in favour of the restriction and sees it as a means of protecting the player from fraud.

Yves Bot, advocate-general, said that, in order to extend gaming licenses, a competitive tender procedure should be introduced, as long as it does not affect public order and other important matters. He went on to confirm that member states do not have to recognise gambling licences which operators have obtained in other EU countries.

European Lotteries said that it welcomed the confirmation of the court’s previous jurisprudence.

Betfair vs. the Dutch Ministry of Justice

The world-renowned betting exchange, Betfair, announced that it has filed an action with the Dutch government, after the Dutch Ministry of Justice reportedly issued a letter advising the Dutch banks “…not to process payments from any Dutch customers wishing to place a bet on any legal gaming website”.

Betfair also issued a formal complaint to the European Commission citing that the actions of the Dutch Government blatantly “fly in the face of the EU principles”. Mark Davies, Betfair’s Managing Director, is not pleased in the slightest, as can be expected and has openly voiced that the Dutch Government is “desperate” and has “resorted to illegal tactics that prevent consumer choice and go against the treaty”.

Dutch residents are currently allowed to bet online with De Lotto. Betfair is a licensed operator in the EU community, including UK, Malta, Austria and Germany. They are therefore entitled to accept bets from the Netherlands. Stay tuned to find out the outcome.