European Commission Hears From Internet Betting Group Betfair

Published Monday, July 04, 2011 -

The Betfair online gambling group from the U.K. has lodged a complaint to the European Commission regarding the German draft proposal for reform of their gambling laws. Betfair is telling the European Union that the proposal is “discriminatory and protectionist.”
Germany has established what they call the state betting treaty which is designed to reposition the country’s state run monopoly regarding sports betting and the lotteries. The European Union’s  Court of Justice ruled in September 2010 that the country’s betting monopoly, violates European laws. The online-betting ban was upheld on June 1  by Germany’s top administrative court which argued that the draft proposal was compliant with the E.U. constitutional rules.

Betfair has stated that the current situation in Germany would force Betfair to pay a 16.67 percent tax on all stakes which the company considers unfair. The restriction on the number of  licenses for private betting companies is also a point on contention in the July first official complaint. Only seven such licenses to operate are to be granted.

Martin Cruddace, who is the Chief Legal and Regulatory Affairs Officer at Betfair commented on the legal scene presented, “Although the federal states claim to be opening up the market for sports betting, the current draft treaty is riddled with disproportionate, discriminatory and protectionist measures designed to keep private online operators out of the market,” Cruddace continued,  “If the treaty came into force it would neither set incentives for customers to play with licensed operators nor would it stand up to the scrutiny of the EU Court.”
The office of the EU’s internal market commissioner has not commented officially as yet. The commission is still undertaking a review of the current laws for online wagering in the twenty seven state  European Union. The outcome of the E.C.’s review is hopefully a harmonized and cohesive regulatory baseline for all E.U. member nations. 


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