EU criticises Dutch gambling policy

21st March 2007, Comments 0 comments

21 March 2007, AMSTERDAM – The European Commission is not satisfied with the Dutch government's defence of its policy regarding sports betting. The Commission is asking The Hague today for more information, sources in Brussels told the Financieele Dagblad.

21 March 2007

AMSTERDAM – The European Commission is not satisfied with the Dutch government's defence of its policy regarding sports betting. The Commission is asking The Hague today for more information, sources in Brussels told the Financieele Dagblad.

The restrictive gambling policy in the Netherlands gives the Lotto company exclusive permission to run sports betting. European Commissioner for the Internal Market Charlie McCreevy already demanded clarification on this arrangement in April 2006. He wants to know whether it is compatible with the EU's freedom of establishment and services.

McCreevy said last year he did not have plans to liberalise the gambling market. "I don't underestimate the sensitivities that exist in many member states on the question of gambling," he said. But he does want every EU member to observe EU regulations. 

The commissioner's efforts are in response to complaints from betting companies. He is also critical about restrictions on the betting markets in Germany, Finland, Hungary, Italy Sweden, Denmark, Austria and France.

Germany is taking the debate on gambling policy very seriously. The country's Supreme Court has ruled that the gambling policy maintained by the separate German states is in violation of EU regulations. The states have been given until the end of 2007 to make the necessary changes.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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