Gaming firms say EU dragging feet over legal action


The European Commission is under political pressure not to crack down on national barriers to gaming competition as legal actions against EU states drag on, industry groups said on Thursday.

The European Union’s executive has actions against 10 of the bloc’s 27 countries in a sector dominated by state-controlled companies generating revenue for national coffers. The gaming industry hoped EU Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy would have taken Denmark and Sweden to the final stage -- the European Court of Justice -- on Thursday, but nothing has been announced. “I am seriously concerned that what would appear to be political maneuverings are trying to slow down the Commission’s pace and kick the issue into the long grass,” said John Whittaker, managing director of Stanleybet International.

Denmark, Finland and Hungary received final warnings in March last year to change their laws, with France and Sweden three months later, Stanleybet said. An EU state is normally given two months to reply to a final warning or face the EU’s top court, which has powers to require that a country change its laws. The Remote Gambling Association and the European Gaming and Betting Association said the actions were taking too long. “Gambling has become a real test of the Commission’s ability to resist national protectionist pressures,” RGA CEO Clive Hawkswood said.

McCreevy’s spokesman acknowledged the gaming cases had taken a long time but nevertheless it was a priority for McCreevy to bring them to court or drop them. “They were never on the agenda so they were never taken off,” the spokesman said. The Commission’s next round of decisions on legal proceedings is in September. (Reuters)

Ministry Dismisses Suggestion That Hungary is 'Poorest' EU S... Figures

Ministry Dismisses Suggestion That Hungary is 'Poorest' EU S...

Economic Cooperation 'Firm Foundation' for German-Hungarian ... Int’l Relations

Economic Cooperation 'Firm Foundation' for German-Hungarian ...

IWG Adds 2 New Regus Offices in Hungary Office Market

IWG Adds 2 New Regus Offices in Hungary

Sziget Tops Slingo Music Festival Ranking In Budapest

Sziget Tops Slingo Music Festival Ranking


Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.