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EU's body mulls possible action against France, Sweden and Greece
Wednesday could be crunch day for EU nations France, Sweden and Greece, reports the Reuters news service, revealing that the European Commission will decide whether to take legal action against the three nations for restricting competition in their gambling markets.
"There will be some decisions made probably tomorrow by the college (of commissioners) on a number of member states," Oliver Drewes, a spokesman for the European Union's executive arm, told a regular press briefing. "This concerns France, Greece and Sweden for the moment. Those are the decisions on the calendar for tomorrow," he said.
Sports betting and gambling is a state-owned monopoly in many EU states, generating large amounts of revenue for government coffers. EU sources confirmed on earlier this week that the Commission would issue a final warning to France and Sweden and an initial warning to Greece for restricting competition in their gambling markets.
If no changes are made, the European Court of Justice has powers to force states to alter their laws.
EU Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy told Reuters that it is unacceptable that some [state] gambling operators have advertised for new customers while at the same time protesting that gambling must not be encouraged as an excuse to bar competitors.
However, for the Commission to say to governments "see you in court" rather than try to negotiate is also unsatisfactory, he added, saying that the Commission would prefer dialogue and negotiation with EU member states in order to reach what he called "a proportionate compromise." He revealed, however, that certain states had not entered into a such a dialogue at all.
The Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt seemed to hint at a more compliant approach for his country last week, when he said that the [Swedish] domestic sector would be reformed but it could take time. A Swedish enquiry into the issue, which could take up to two years to conclude, had been appointed and the Swedes were interested in hearing EU suggestions. "So the last word has not been said," Reinfeldt remarked.
Reuters recapped on the situation in Greece, where the governmentdominated monopoly OPAP runs gambling in the country, with competition restricted, especially from other EU nations. Major international gambling firms with their roots in EU countries had expressed a desire for a regulated EU sports betting market that treated private and state-owned or controlled operators equally.
The French Institute of Horse Racing rejected the anticipated move by Brussels, saying in a statement: "It regrets that the particularities of the horse racing sector and its financing, founded on the principles of general interest, were not taken into account by the Commission and that a real negotiation was not organised on this subject."
The Commission has opened legal actions against a number of EU states, citing a string of European Court of Justice rulings as a basis to crack down on unfair restrictions on competitors.
Betradar Launches US Sports Betting Solutions -
With only a few weeks to go until the betting and gambling world descends on ICE in London, Betradar have today announced that they will be launching a comprehensive range of tools and services to any company that will be looking to provide sports betting in a post-PASPA United States.
Final 12 For MPNPT Morocco -
Sunday on the MPN Poker Tour Morocco will see several trophies awarded at the Mazagan Beach Resort, with the largest going to the Main Event champion along with a prize of MAD 400,000 (c.€35,400).
MPNPT Morocco Updates -
Leading the 104 combined survivors from both flights is still Said El-Yousfi with 272,000 chips; visit the MPN Poker Tour blog for an end-of-day recap and full chip counts.
MPN Poker Tour Morocco Day 1A -
The MPN Poker Tour has returned to Morocco this week (January 11-14), featuring the MAD 1.5 million guaranteed Main Event, accompanying side events, and the activities and parties for which this tour has now become known on two continents.
2018 MPN Poker Classic -
The MPN announces the return of The Classic tournament series this January. The series is back following its successful €350,000 guaranteed debut in 2017. This time €500,000 is guaranteed, along with a once in a lifetime trip to Monaco for the Classic Champion.
PDC and Sportradar Renew Deal -
Following this month’s hugely successful World Championship, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and long-standing partners Sportradar have renewed their multi-faceted cooperation that will see the leader in sports data and content continuing in their role as official data
Poker Yaar Joins MPN -
Available through download, instant play and mobile, Pokeryaar.com is live with Omaha, Hold’em and Five-Card poker variants, alongside MPN’s Fish Party, the industry’s only progressive jackpot SNGs.
New MPN Poker Rooms Tower Torneos -
Impressed with Microgaming, having already integrated with the Quickfire platform to gain access to some of the industry’s best gaming content, Tower Torneos has extended the relationship with poker.<
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