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.