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The European Commission and national gambling monopolies European Legal Update, October 5th 2006 Thibault Verbiest Attorney at law ULYS law firm.

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Presentation on theme: "The European Commission and national gambling monopolies European Legal Update, October 5th 2006 Thibault Verbiest Attorney at law ULYS law firm."— Presentation transcript:

1 The European Commission and national gambling monopolies European Legal Update, October 5th 2006 Thibault Verbiest Attorney at law ULYS law firm

2 The European Commission and national gambling monopolies First attempt to regulate gambling: services directive  Exclusion from the COP only  Final version: complete exclusion from directive Article 1.5 e-commerce Directive excludes games “which involve wagering a stake with monetary value in games of chance, including lotteries and betting transactions” from its scope of application. At the moment no Community directive regulates gambling

3 The European Commission and national gambling monopolies Increase in gambling complaints for the last couple of years based on article 49 EC Treaty and Gambelli case-law January 2005: appoints Swiss Institute to conduct study on impact of laws regulating gambling services on smooth functioning of the Internal Market Draft report June 2006: unsatisfactory ►unlikely basis for Community act

4 The European Commission and national gambling monopolies Until last April Commission did not initiate any infringement proceedings April 2006: opening of infringement proceedings against seven member states  Limited to sports betting market  Does not touch upon existence of monopolies as such but examines consistency of gambling policy

5 The European Commission and national gambling monopolies Why did the Commission decide to act? National developments such as  Germany’s constitutional court ruling March 2006  Italy’s decision to block gambling sites: notification had been sent to Italy but legislation remained in place Exclusion of gambling from Services directive Intense lobbying by private operators

6 The European Commission and national gambling monopolies Recent developments in France (Bwin) Commission infringement meeting October 12th could add eight new Member States to the list, including France Other complaint lodged at DG Competition by main body representing casino sector based on abuse of dominant position Commission said it would assess the French “case” in the light of both complaints

7 The European Commission and national gambling monopolies Where from here?  De facto de regulation process taking place at national level : Germany, Italy, Belgium  Real push comes from market  Commission adopts rather “defensive” stance and follows evolution at national level before acting De regulation will take another two to five years  Community act not on the agenda for the moment: de facto deregulation likely to precede a Community act

8 Thank you for your attention


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