Organizations File Complaint with EC over Unfair New Gambling Law in Belgium

Written by Tom B. on 2010-07-05 at 10:47
Belgian Gambling Laws - GamingZion
Could the proposed new law on providing Internet gambling in Belgium be invalidated before it’s even put into effect? That’s the hope of the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) and the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), a pair of organizations which have teamed up to lodge a complaint with the European Commission over unfair practices. 

In the complaint, the RGA and EGBA argue that the recently adopted legislation unfairly protects Belgian operators of online casinos and Internet poker. The law not only requires that operators obtain a license from the government, but also that applicants have a history of providing land-based gaming in Belgium and locate/relocate servers, hardware and even personnel to Belgium. 

Under the new law, the government “completely ignores the obligations and safeguards to which foreign operators are already subject in their member state of establishment” and that “Belgian authorities assert their capacity to judge the integrity of private operators while they deny the ability of other countries to do so.” 

In a statement, RGA CEO Clive Hawkswood said that “There is absolutely no doubt that these measures are driven by protectionism rather than genuine concern for consumers. We hope that the (EC) will be consistent with its previous stance on the Belgian laws and will fulfill its duty as guardian of European Union law by taking early action...” 

The RGA/EGBA case will reportedly be based on the recent EC matter of private company Bwin versus Santa Casa, the monopoly provider of online sportsbooks in Portugal.

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