1/21/10 – Viral videos created by consumer choice champions right2bet (www.right2bet.net) to illustrate the unfair nature of current European betting restrictions are being blocked from being advertised on websites across Europe.
The series of hilarious spoof videos show the ‘Renegade Ref’ let loose on the streets imposing random rules on innocent members of the public. With his trusty whistle never far from his lips, he is brandishing red and yellow cards at any unsuspecting victims who fall foul of his very own unfathomable instructions.
Right2bet is calling for EU Member States to end gambling monopolies and allow their citizens the same freedom to bet with any licensed European betting company that UK citizens have. The campaign is urging everyone to back it by signing a petition at right2bet.net
But the very laws that prevent people in countries such as France, Germany, Sweden, Finland and The Netherlands from choosing their betting provider are forcing some websites and bloggers in those countries to reluctantly turn away the videos.
Michael Robb, right2bet spokesperson, said: “The ridiculousness of European betting laws has never been better demonstrated. The ‘Renegade Ref’ videos are encouraging people to join our consumer campaign and make a stand for freedom of choice. But because the campaign is linked to betting as opposed to any other leisure industry, we’re told that many websites are worried they may not be allowed to show our videos.
“It’s farcical – they’re free to put them up if we don’t pay them, but not if they’re commercially advertised. It proves our point that these outdated laws are impinging on people’s freedom, not just to bet, but also to express opinion. This is fundamentally against what the EU should stand for.”
The videos are allowed to be advertised in countries which allow betting advertising, such as the UK.
The ‘Renegade Ref’ is shown in a number of street situations where only he seems to know the rules, including creating a ‘gender lane’ on a busy pavement, in which men must walk one side and women on the other, and at a zebra crossing, where the ref insists people only stand on the white lines.
Right2bet wants to generate one million signatures for its online petition to persuade the EU Commission that state betting monopolies are illegal, unfair, and curtail consumer freedom of choice.
Betting companies within the EU are currently barred from expanding into other European countries including Germany, France, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands because of regulations that force their citizens to use just one or two betting providers based within their own borders, contradicting EU principles of free trade among Member States.
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