23 December 2008

Gambling monopoly: question to the European Commission

ORAL QUESTION for Question Time at the part-session in December 2008 pursuant to Rule 109 of the Rules of Procedure by Karin Riis-Jørgensen to the Commission

Subject: Liberalisation of the national gambling monopoly

Between 6 and 8 November 2008 in Greece (Athens and Thessaloniki), two intermediaries from a private sports betting operator licensed and regulated in the EU were arrested and detained by the Greek authorities along with three customers for violating the Greek sports betting monopoly legislation.

That legislation is already the subject of a Reasoned Opinion sent by the European Commission on 28 February 2008 in the wider context of infringement proceedings launched against 10 Member States over the last two and a half years.

Given Paragraph 73 §4(1) of the Placanica ruling by the ECJ (C-338/04) does the Commission find such arrests disproportionate?

Why is the Commission not proceeding more rigorously and referring to the ECJ countries at Reasoned Opinion level like Greece or Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands, which have clearly, through actions like the ones above in Greece, or through complete inaction, showed that they refuse to comply with the EU Treaty?


(1) Articles 43 EC and 49 EC must be interpreted as precluding national legislation, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which imposes a criminal penalty on persons such as the defendants in the main proceedings for pursuing the organised activity of collecting bets without a licence or a police authorisation as required under the national legislation, where those persons were unable to obtain licences or authorisations because that Member State, in breach of Community law, refused to grant licences or authorisations to such persons.

18 December 2008

H2 Q3 eGambling Data Bulletin – Downturn to Strengthen eGaming's Hand

H2 have released their Q3 eGambling Data Bulletin based on all of the Q3 results and trading statements as well as our analysis of traffic and industry news flow until the end of November.

The covering paper concludes that:

- The eGambling Industry will be resilient but not immune to the global recession;
As some economies are in danger of collapsing during 2009 the fortunes of individual operators are difficult to call at this stage;

- eGambling is expected to strengthen its long term position as recession pushes more cash strapped governments to deregulate;

- For the first time H2 see more European Union Member States supporting eGambling rather than opposing it as debate moves to the level of taxation and establishment criteria;

- The US is now expected to move to legalise eGaming (excluding sportbetting) with federal legislation likely to permit states to opt in/out – However, legislation is not expected until the 112th Congress with no activity until 2013;

- In the meantime any effective implementation of UIGEA by December 2009 could impact the businesses of the operators that continue to accept US players.

See all of H2's 2009 forecasts on a market-by-market and product-by-product basis in the most detailed and authoritive assessment of the value and player volume of the interactive gambling industry. The summary industry dataset includes nearly 25,000 data points dating back to 1999 (with over 50 national by product splits from 2003) and forecasts out to 2012.

press release of H2