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so is the EU open for trading or not?

Very interesting development here - after the legal battles in France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands and Sweden, particularly involving Betfair, Bwin, Ladbrokes and Stanley International, it seemed that the European Union was forcing the hand of member states to allow free trading across borders for all gambling companies, particularly bookmakers, licensed within the EU. Does this ruling in Portugal open the door for governments to protect their monopolies in the name of fraud and crime prevention?

Bwin Loses EU Court Challenge to Portuguese Gambling Monopoly

Sept. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG, an online bookmaker, lost a challenge to Portugal’s sports- betting monopoly after a European Union court said gambling restrictions are legal as long as they target fraud and crime.

Bwin had challenged Portugal’s national gambling monopoly and its extension to online wagering. The ruling today by the European Court of Justice could affect other pending cases including a suit by Ladbrokes Plc against the Netherlands.

The EU’s highest court said restrictions such as in Portugal may be justified to meet certain policy goals, including the fight against crime, as long as they aren’t discriminatory and don’t go beyond what is necessary to achieve their aim. Bwin fell as much as 9.5 percent after the ruling.

...

The lack of harmonized EU rules on games of chance means that the region’s countries “are free to set the objectives of their policy in that area,” as long as they meet certain conditions, the court ruled.



Very interesting, who knows where this might end up...


UPDATE - Bwin responds to ECJ judgment - EU law has not kept pace with internet

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