2/9/10 – The Right2bet blog has recently been focussing on two of Europe’s most interesting ‘tug of wars’, with the E.U and member state governments going head-to-head over gambling regulation in Greece and France.
The award for most obstinate nation in the face of deregulation must go to the proud country of France, one of the original and largest E.U. member states. The French have spent the last year facing up to the fact that they cannot continue to exercise the type of control they have enjoyed over their industry in the past, and have begun the switch to a liberalised gambling market, after much persuasion from the E.U, operators and consumer groups like ourselves.
Yet their notion of a liberalized market is far from free. Initial French announcements of plans to liberalise were quickly followed up with a refusal to recognise the legitimacy of several areas of the industry that the French monopolies had traditionally avoided. The reason commonly stated for this – and many of their other actions – was to protect the consumer from ‘harm’.
Since the announcements, however, the French monopolies have quickly entered an ‘arms race’ style programme aimed at allowing themselves to continue their domination of the market.
They’ve vociferously backed protectionist laws, and as our blog pointed out this week, they’ve boosted their technology and product offerings, proudly claiming that doing so would enable them to further ‘entice’ the consumer.
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Meanwhile, the Greeks have been procrastinating in a different manner. As a later and smaller entrant to the supposed European free market, the country has fallen behind the larger targets of France and Germany in the E.U.’s sights, a position the government has tried to use to its advantage. It has now been two years since the E.U. Commission instructed the Greek parliament to remove restricting tariffs and laws surrounding the country's market, and the government has not budged at all. However, the rest of Europe is now once more calling for change, with several important individuals quoted in this week’s blog as being wholly disappointed with the non-action of the Greek government.
Of course, the Right2bet site features far more than just our blog, with the ‘Renegade Ref’ series of comedy videos proving a hit amongst all the viewers whose governments haven’t banned them, and a new poem arriving in the ‘Poetry Corner’. We also still have an iPod Touch up for grabs in our monthly competition, as well as the chance to sign the Right2bet Petition!