11/19/2012 : ONLINE GAMING FIRMS UNITE IN PROTEST OF BELGIAN ACTION
 
Authorities accused of intimidatory tactics
 
A letter written by Financial Times journalist Jonathan Guthrie titled EU must act over protectionist rules has elicited a response from a group of executives who head up some of the most prominent online gaming firms in both Europe and further afield.

Written by Michael Carlton, the chief executive of Victor Chandler International on behalf of himself and a host of high profile online gaming firm executives, that include Denise and John Coates, the joint Chief Executives of bet365, Stéphane Courbit, President of Betclic Everest Group, Canel Frichet, Chief Executive of Winamax, Noel Hayden, Managing Director of Gamesys, Denis Kelly, Chief Executive of Stan James, Brian Mattingly, Chief Executive of 888 Holdings, Andrew McIver, Chief Executive of Sportingbet, Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger, Co-Chief Executives of bwin.party digital entertainment, Magnus Silfverberg, Chief Executive of Betsson, Ralph Topping, Chief Executive of William Hill and Ed Ware, Chief Executive of 32Red, the letter to the Financial Times expresses dissatisfaction on the European Commission's failure to act against member states in contravention of European Union Law.
 
The action follows the detainment of bwin.party digital entertainment's co-chief executive Norbert Teufelberger in Brussels last week, a "stones throw from the European parliament and the office of Michel Barnier, European commissioner for internal market and services” which it said was "a stark reminder of the legal uncertainty that prevails in the European online gaming market".
 
The full text of the letter can be viewed at: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/a98fa6ea-3003-11e2-891b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2CecAvKjx
 
According to Clive Hawkswood, chief executive of trade body, the Remote Gambling Association, protectionist behaviour is becoming increasingly common because of the Commission's lack of action against member states such as Greece, Belgium and Bulgaria.
 
“Member states appear to see the commission as a dog that rarely barks and never bites at all,” Hawkswood commented.