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Gambling : SWEDISH EDITORS WIN A QUALIFIED VICTORY
The editors of the Swedish newspapers Expressen and Aftonbladet appear to have won a qualified victory in the European Court of Justice this week; whilst the court confirmed the authority of individual governments within the EU to control online gambling advertising, it emphasised that such authority should not be wielded in a discriminatory manner.
The case was brought before the court by the Swedish judicial system which asked for guidance after Swedish courts wrestled with the compatibility of domestic law with EU requirements.
The case is rooted in online gambling advertisements placed with the Swedish newspapers in 2004 by non-Swedish companies based and licensed in other European Union countries.
Criminal action and penalties were imposed on the newspapers by local enforcement after complaints by the country’s lottery officials that the advertisements were against the law – at that time heavily exclusive and favouring the state-owned Svenska Spel.
In it’s ruling, the ECJ panel said: "Swedish legislation which prohibits the promotion of gambling organised on the Internet by private operators in other member states for profit is consistent with Community law."
It said national bans could be acceptable on cultural, moral or religious grounds, again confirming the sovereignty rights of individual EU states.
Last month, the ECJ found that a Dutch ban was justified to combat fraud. This followed a verdict in September last year that crime-fighting efforts could justify prohibition.
However, in the matter of the Expressen and Aftonbladet case, an issue of discrimination had been raised.
Swedish rules imposed criminal sanctions for the advertisement of gambling organized by offshore sites, but merely lower administrative penalties for promoting gambling organised in Sweden without a licence, and on this aspect the Court ruled that there should be no discrimination.
"Community law precludes national legislation which penalises the promotion of gambling organised in Sweden without a licence differently from that of gambling organised outside Sweden," it said.
The European Gaming and Betting Association, a trade association that includes most of Europe’s large internet gambling groups among its membership, urged EU countries to recognise the growing popularity of online gambling and said legal rulings would not resolve the issue.
"It is up to the legislator to embrace the reality of online gaming and betting in Europe,” said Sigrid Ligne, the association's secretary-general, said in a statement.
“Italy, France and the UK have introduced online gaming legislation and Denmark is set to follow suit in 2011."
European Lotteries, an umbrella group for licensed national lotteries in 40 European countries, told the Reuters news agency that the court verdict validated national monopolies.
"The court has given full backing to the gambling model we stand for, a model from which the whole of society benefits," the group's president, Friedrich Stickler, said in a statement.
"It has once again rejected the arguments of the many private online gambling operators which pursue purely commercial interests."
Consultancy H2 Gambling Capital estimates the European interactive market could be worth as much as 12.6 billion euros (10.5 billion pounds) by 2012, up from 8.3 billion last year.
Danske Spil Bingo Moves to Microgaming -
The national lottery of Denmark, Danske Spil, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network. Danske Spil, the Danish national lottery, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network following a change to its licence conditions.
Quickfire live on Strendus -
Quickfire powered by Microgaming is extending its reach in the LatAm region with the signing of Strendus. Strendus is the online division of Logrand Entertainment Group. The group comprises several companies that operate gaming and entertainment establishments in Mexico, running 14 land-based casinos in total.
Quickfire content live on BetatHome -
Online gaming and sports betting company bet-at-home was founded in 1999. Today the company has 4.8 million registered customers around the world, offering sports betting, casino, live casino, Vegas games, poker and virtual sports.
Microgaming has donated £30,000 between four charities -
Gift of Giving provides Microgamingís customers the opportunity to vote for one of several charities in their region. In lieu of Christmas gifts, £30,000 is split equally between four global regions: Isle of Man, UK and Europe, Africa, and Rest of the World.
Entertainment Betting Odds: 90th Academy Awards -
The Shape of Water leads Sundayís 90th Academy Awards (8 PM ET, ABC) with 13 Oscar nominations, but when it comes to Best Picture, this highly-acclaimed film is a +140 second-favorite behind Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at Ė115.
Fair Play Bets and QuickFire in Deal -
Fair Play Bets enjoys an unrivalled reputation for an outstanding player experience, with secure deposits and withdrawals, surprising casino bonuses and committed customer support. Fair Play Bets is licensed in UK, Malta and Curacao.
Cavaliers Aim to Take Down Wizards on 2/22/18 -
The Cleveland Cavaliers have looked like a different team since making their moves at the trade deadline. The Washington Wizards are up next for the Cavaliers, who will be at home after the All-Star break.
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