Online gaming and betting: Romanian draft triggers European Commission’s objections07 October 2010
by EGBA -- last modified 07 October 2010
The European Commission issued a detailed opinion against the Romanian draft legislation regulating online gaming and betting. Such detailed opinion implies that the Commission has strong doubts about the compatibility of the draft legislation with EU law and means Romania cannot adopt its draft in its current shape.
"EGBA welcomes the Romanian government's willingness to reform its online gaming and betting market. However, EGBA notes that Romania is the third country in the last 12 months to receive a detailed opinion from the European Commission and will have as in the case of Denmark and Poland to re-notify and adjust its draft legislation." said Sigrid Ligné, Secretary General of EGBA.
After analyzing the draft legislation, EGBA has identified a number of provisions in the draft which are highly doubtful under EU law. This includes:
* the discriminatory prohibition of marketing and advertising activities for EU licensed companies which are not authorized in Romania
* the requirement for EU licensed online betting companies to have their servers in Romania
* the requirement for EU licensed online companies to be established in Romania
* the unjustified exclusion of online pool betting while all other forms of online gambling would be allowed.
"While we support Romania's legitimate wish to regulate its online gaming market, it is important from a consumer protection perspective that national gambling policies are consistent. As confirmed by the ECJ in its recent rulings, there are less restrictive means than forced establishment to monitor and control the online gaming and betting market" added Sigrid Ligné from the EGBA.
The Romanian draft legislation was notified to the European Commission and Member States on 2 July 2010. Today's detailed opinion extends the standstill period until 3 November, during which time Romania cannot adopt its draft legislation. Romania is required to reply to the Commission's views. If Romania fails to take into account the Commission's objections, the Commission could decide to launch infringement proceedings.
The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) is the industry body representing the leading online gaming and betting operators established, licensed and regulated within the EU. EGBA promotes the implementation of a fair, competitive and regulated market for online gaming operators throughout Europe in line with EU law. EGBA believes that this regulated market should be based on genuine public order and consumer protection concerns and be adapted to the cross-border nature of the online market. A successful regulated market would be based on effective European and international collaboration and cooperation.
European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA)