BETFAIR COMPLAINS TO E.C. ON GERMAN ONLINE GAMBLING POLICY
04th July, 2011 at 11:34:08
Disproportionate, discriminatory and protectionist measures alleged by UK internet betting company
Germany's so-called 'liberalisation' plans for its gambling market are to come under the scrutiny of the European Commission following a complaint lodged by UK online betting company Betfair
Betfair is claiming that the sixteen-state German betting treaty, which is still being considered by the individual German lander or states, could unfairly force it to pay a 16.67% tax on all stakes, and additionally restricts the number of licenses for private betting companies to seven.
The state betting treaty would overhaul the country's state monopoly on sports betting and lotteries that was attacked as unjustified by the EU's highest court in a ruling last year.
Betfair's legal director, Martin Cruddace, says: 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.
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 European Court of Justice ruled in September 2010 that Germany's betting monopoly, which only allows state-owned companies to offer most sports betting, violates European Union law because it's not coherent (see previous reports).
The online-betting ban had previously been upheld on June 1 by Germany's top administrative court, which said the rules were in line with constitutional and EU law.
Earlier this year the premiers of the sixteen German states decided to postpone a final decision on a new Treaty until October 2011. It is known that the state of Schleswig-Holstein is less than happy with the current plans, and has framed its own independent regulations which have been approved by the European Commission, although not yet implemented.
The European Commission is currently in the midst of a consultative phase on the possible harmonisation of online gambling regulation among the 27 EU member nations.
Related News Tags: Europe, Germany, Betfair