Friday June 10,2011 : Internet gambling giant lodges complaint with European Commission
Having assisted in the construction of the Greek government’s new proposals to licence and regulate online gambling, Betfair is less than pleased at the outcome and has taken its concerns to the European Commission, the group's legal director revealed this week.
The EC is currently considering the Greek proposals, on which it is due to respond early next (July) month.
Betfair's legal director, Martin Cruddace, claims that there are elements within the Greek draft that are incompatible with EU law and principles generally, and discriminate against Betfair particularly.
Betfair's complaint is based on four specific elements:
* A blanket ban on betting exchanges – an area in which the group is both market leader and pioneer;
* The Greek insistence that licensees should establish a Greek corporate presence, and the tax consequences of such a move;
* The provision in the draft requiring licensees to situate their servers and e-processing within Greece; and
* The demand that online customers must obtain a special player's identity card.
Although the draft is still with the EC, on the domestic front it was withdrawn from the Greek parliament recently after opposition parties objected to its contents. The bill has had a troubled passage marked by extensive debate and revision