Betfair urges EU action against German gambling law

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 01, 2011 11:38 AM
Betfair urges EU action against German gambling law

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - British online gambling company Betfair urged EU regulators on Thursday to stop Germany from implementing a new gambling law, saying it did not comply with EU rules and that it favored state monopolies.

The German sports betting market, estimated to be worth at least 5 billion euros ($6.7 billion), is monopolized by the country's 16 states.

"Under these current proposals Germany's new state treaty will be out of line and out of touch with fundamental EU law," Betfair's chief legal and regulatory affairs officer Martin Cruddace said in a statement.

Betfair, the world's biggest betting exchange, said the updated draft favored the incumbent state monopoly because of various provisions. It first complained to the European Commission over the issue in July.

Betting companies from other EU countries previously complained that the new rules would severely hamper their activities or shut them out of the market.

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Several online gambling companies have taken a number of EU countries to court in a bid to break into a lucrative market with sales of 80 billion euros last year.

($1 = 0.7429 euros)

(Reporting by Christopher Le Coq and Foo Yun Chee; Editing by David Holmes)