|London’s Remote Gambling Association (RGA), Europe’s largest trade association for the online gambling industry, has welcomed a decision by the European Commission to proceed with investigations into Greece and The Netherlands.|
In a decision announced yesterday, both European Union states are to be probed by the European Commission to determine if their national gambling laws are in contravention of the European Treaty. In particular, the Commission stated that it needs assurances that restrictions being placed on the freedom of gambling operators from other member states to provide services in Holland and Greece are justifiable and not in place simply to defend the position of domestic gambling companies or state operators.
“In the face of sometimes very strong opposition, it does the Commission great credit that it continues to fulfil its role as guardian of the Treaty in such a robust and objective way,” said Clive Hawkswood, Chief Executive for the RGA.
Coming on the heels of a decision last month to take similar actions against Germany and Sweden, Hawkswood stated that the Commission’s proceedings should send strong signals across Europe that protectionism in the gambling sector would not be tolerated.
“The Dutch government has even tried to carve out an online gambling monopoly for Holland Casino but this opinion should serve notice that such actions are not acceptable,” said Hawkswood.
RGA’s membership is primarily public limited companies offering betting and gaming opportunities via the Internet, telephone and interactive television, however, many also operate large numbers of bricks and mortar gambling establishments.