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    Default EU moves against German, Swedish Internet gambling monopolies

    The European Commission has launched infringement proceedings against Germany and Sweden over the countries prohibition against Internet gambling. The nations have two months to respond to a "letter of formal notice."

    http://www.forbes.com/markets/feeds/...fx4597413.html

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    More on this issue ...

    The Commission said that it was querying whether the law was consistent with its laws on internal markets. The restrictions it wants to investigate are: "the total prohibition of games of chance on the internet; notably sports betting … advertising restrictions on TV, on the internet or on jerseys or billboards; and the prohibition on financial institutions to process and execute payments relating to unauthorised games of chance".

    The Commission said that the German stance was not an overall anti-betting one. "It should be noted that in Germany horse race betting on the internet is not prohibited and slot machines have been widely expanded. Moreover, advertising of games of chance by mail, in the press and on radio is still permitted," it said.

    "By commencing these broad proceedings only thirty days after the Treaty entered into force, the Commission shows its determination to fight restrictions and in particular prohibitions, which are not backed by genuine consumer protection or public order interests," said Sigrid Ligne, general secretary of the European Gaming and Betting Association. "

    The Commission has said that in Sweden's case it cannot allow betting in physical casinos or online in a state monopoly and at the same time bar foreign operators from offering online gambling.

    "A Member State cannot invoke the need to restrict its citizens’ access to betting services if at the same time it incites and encourages them to participate in state lotteries, games of chance or betting which benefits the state’s finances," said a Commission statement.

    The Commission is conducting an enquiry into whether Sweden's rules on poker games and tournaments are consistent with EU laws on free trade. The country has two months in which to respond to the request for information.
    http://www.out-law.com/page-8852

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