The European Commission has launched infringement proceedings against a number of European Union member states, with Sweden firmly in the firing line and Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland and Romania also under increased scrutiny.
The commission has told Sweden to comply with EU rules on the free movement of services with regard to the regulation and supervision of its gambling monopoly after having already issued a “reasoned opinion” in 2007.
“In two separate proceedings the European Commission has requested Sweden to ensure compliance of its national rules establishing exclusive rights for the provision of online betting services and for the provision of online poker services with EU law,” the commission stated.
“The commission enquiries cover the cross-border provision of online sports betting and poker services, but also deal with issues such as advertising and sponsorship.”
The commission added that if Sweden fails to act within two months in relation to these two proceedings, the commission “may refer the cases to the EU Court of Justice”.
The commission added that it had decided to send Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland and Romania an official request for information on national legislation restricting the supply of gambling services.
The Remote Gambling Association trade body said that there “at last appears to be a consensus at EU level on the need to address unlawful restrictions after many years of inaction”, but added that “it is regrettable… that no countries have so far been referred to the Court of Justice of the EU when existing infringement proceedings appeared to be sufficiently advanced and substantiated to do that”.