Online Gambling Challenges European Commission

Published Thursday, September 25, 2014 -
Online Gambling Challenges European Commission

The European Commission has its hands full at the moment with the economic imbalances and severe problems in other areas but it is still working on a unified platform for all online gambling commerce. The proposed Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act is regarded as an ideal framework on which pan-European legislation for the industry would be developed.

The most contentious issue facing the European Commission has been its legal battles. The first is the Royal Scandinavian Casino versus the Commission. The casino in Aarhus, Denmark, is claiming that the lower tax rates charged to online poker operators – compared to the rates imposed on terrestrial casinos is contrary to Article 87 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Article 87 is for to State Aid and the development of certain economic areas within the EU including online casinos.  The Royal Scandinavian Casino is claiming that this is not the intent of the Article.

The second of the two legal cases concerns the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Associations’  challenging of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act. The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association is saying that the new legislation is not according the rules claiming it is an illegitimate, disproportionate and discriminatory interference with the right to free movement of goods and services guaranteed by Article 56. Gibraltar is host to a number of online gambling operators which moved to the U.K. protectorate to take advantage of the favourable tax rates offered. The firms maintain  that the proposed Point of Consumption tax (15%) being applied to transactions with UK-based online gamblers is contrary to existing rules in the European Union regarding free commerce among nations.

It has been suggested that the view that the European Commission can actually create a unified platform for the online gambling industry is somewhat optimistic.


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