|The European Commission announced yesterday that it has begun investigating three more European Union member nations to determine whether they are restricting access to their gambling and online sports betting markets.|
The European Union's executive office confirmed it is pursuing information from France and Italy over online betting including sports betting, and from Austria on its online casino industry. The investigations are set to run in tandem with existing probes concerning a number of other nations including Germany and the Netherlands, which began in April.
In a statement released by EU Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy, he announced, 'I have made no secret of the fact that I intend to pursue these inquiries. I also have concerns about the legal uncertainty suffered by sport betting operators and related stakeholders.'
Many of the twenty-five EU nations have state-owned companies that dominate national markets, and although there is free movement across the EU, restrictions can be, and are often imposed to protect a general interest. This national betting monopoly syndrome was highlighted last month with the arrests of two Bwin executives in France.
EBA secretary general Didier Dewyn added, 'How long must EU licensed and regulated operators endure legislation which deprives their executives of even the basic right to travel freely in the EU? We hope these new proceedings will put an end to the witch-hunts.'