Danes headed for ECJ?

jetset

RIP Brian
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Feb 22, 2001
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APRIL FOOLS DAY LAUNCH FOR DANISH LEGISLATION?

Despite the attentions of the EC, are the Danes gearing up for an UIGEA-style anti-online gambling law?

The Danish government may be preparing legislation against online gambling that includes a UIGEA-style provision to hamper financial transfers, report several news media covering the region, including EIN.

If the as yet unconfirmed reports that moves could take place as early as next (April) month are true, the Danes will be flying in the face of the European Commission which has had the country's monopolistic gambling policies under the microscope for the past few years and has already issued a "reasoned opinion" against the Scandinavian nation.

Specifically, this reasoned opinion was that the EC considers the Danish Pools and Lottery Act incompatible with existing EU-ruling (especially Article 49 of the EC Treaty). Furthermore, the Commission concludes that the measures taken by Denmark to restrict the free movement of sports betting services have not proved to be necessary or proportionate. The Commission in its reasoned opinion warned the Danish State: 'If there is no satisfactory reply within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice'.

Earlier this year there were reports that a previous legislative attack on the industry (see previous InfoPowa report) had been stopped short of a vote in the Danish Senate. The European Gaming and Betting Association had previously urged the European Commission to take the Danes to the European Court of Justice over their protectionist policies.

Currently, under the Danish Pools and Lottery Act (tips- og lottoloven), only Danske Spil can lawfully offer games, lotteries and bets covered by the Act. Furthermore, no one except Danske Spil may arrange for participation in such games offered by anyone other than the state dominated Danske Spil.

EGBA members include such notable online poker parents such as Party Gaming (Party Poker), Bwin (bwin Poker), Unibet (Unibet Poker), bet-at-home.com, Expekt (Expekt Poker), and Interwetten Gaming (Interwetten Poker).

In a recent newsletter, EGBA stated: "We believe that any anti-online gambling legislation which is proposed or upheld by individual member states is likely to be breaking EU law. The EGBA is fighting against this discriminatory legislation as we believe that it is being introduced primarily to protect state-run monopolies.

"Opening up markets to competition gives consumers the benefits of lower prices and a wider choice of products and suppliers. A competitive environment, especially in the online world where technology reigns and trust in a brand is paramount, also helps promote consumer security and game fairness."
 

Zoozie

Ueber Meister
PABnonaccred
CAG
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Dec 1, 2005
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Denmark
Despite the attentions of the EC, are the Danes gearing up for an UIGEA-style anti-online gambling law?

Currently, under the Danish Pools and Lottery Act (tips- og lottoloven), only Danske Spil can lawfully offer games, lotteries and bets covered by the Act.

"Danske Spil" has been trying to do this for years and luckily they have not succeded yet. It is still legal to gamble online and even further all winnings are tax-free (also poker winnings) if the casino itself pays tax within EU (Ladbrokes, 32Red etc.)

Ladbrokes has been figting "Danske Spil" with lawsuits for years also, but unfortunately they have not been that succesful.
Still I am not that worried at all yet! And even if it really comes to an UIGEA-style law I will course encourage civil disobedience.

Besides the house edge on the games/sports betting by "Danske Spil" is gigantic compared to Ladbrokes etc. It is still a mystery to me why many players choose to play at "Danske Spil" and not at Ladbrokes or 32Red etc. But it is probably due to habit or simply ignorance.

Sweeden is trying to do something similar: (In Danish...)
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I am more worried Sweeden will succeed since they have a history of goverment enforced restrictions (alcohol).
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
Update

HAVE THE DANES FOLDED ON GAMBLING MONOPOLY?

Danske Spil's exclusivity days could be numbered

The Danish government has apparently responded positively to a European Commission 'reasoned opinion' issued over a year ago regarding the monopolistic gambling nature of the state-owned Danske Spil organisation.

This week European media reports under the header 'Unibet Welcomes the Danish Tax Ministers Will to End the Era of Monopoly' published a press release from online gambling group Unibet's CEO Petter Nylander congratulating the Danes and pledging to work together to create a "modern, regulated and responsible Danish gambling market."

"We are looking forward to, together with the Danish government, creating a modern, regulated and responsible Danish gambling market", Nylander, CEO wrote before giving details of the earlier EC ruling..

Denmark received a reasoned opinion from the European Commission in mid-March 2007. The opinion advised that the EU considered that the restrictions on the sports betting market imposed by Denmark and other member nations are not compatible with existing EU law and that the measures taken to restrict these services had not been shown to be necessary, proportionate and non-discriminatory (see previous InfoPowa report).

The opinion opened the way for litigation against Denmark in the European Court of Justice should the monopolistic policies continue.

Under the Danish Pools and Lottery Act (tips- og lottoloven), Danske Spil has hitherto been the only enterprise that can lawfully offer games, lotteries and bets to Danish gamblers.

Section 10 of the Act expressly lays down that no one except Danske Spil may offer games defined by the Act in Denmark. And no person or entity except the licensee may arrange for participation in such games offered by anyone other than Danske Spil.

The Danske Spil exclusivity has led to the prosecution of both competing gambling companies interested in the Danish market and even newspapers carrying gambling advertisements. It has also attracted the attention of the European Commission under its EU treaty compliance responsibilities.

In its reasoned opinion of March 21, 2007, the Commission unequivocally asserted that the Danish Pools and Lottery Act is incompatible with Article 49 of the EU Treaty, and that the measures taken in Danish law to restrict the free movement of sports betting services are unnecessary and disproportionate. The Commission warned the Danish state that it could find itself before the European Court of Justice if it did not respond to the non-compliance opinion.

Denmark has continued to drag out a solution, along with other member nations such as Germany, France, Finland, Hungary, Greece, The Netherlands, Italy, Austria and Sweden. However, in recent months there has been a noticeable softening in resistance to the EU requirements, especially from Italy, France, Poland and (apparently) now from Denmark, together with more cautious approaches in The Netherlands and positive legal rulings in Germany.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
Update

REGULATION AND LICENSING FOR DANISH ONLINE GAMBLING MARKET (Update)

Speculation appears to be based on firm information


The wide speculation last week that the Danish government may be changing its policy toward online gambling (see previous InfoPowa reports) has to some extent been confirmed this week by many media reports that regulation and licensing is now being seriously considered.

The Danish minister for taxation, Kristian Jensen, told the Danish national radio that the government was preparing to open up its previously monopolistic system in order to strictly regulate and licence suitable online gambling companies after months of pressure from the European Commission.

This week the Danish media examined the turnaround, reporting that Danes who like placing bets on sports and online poker might soon have even more legal options, when deciding where and on what they want to bet. Reports claim that Jensen is leading the development and has started an investigation into how the Danish state monopoly might be changed.

This could lead to a development where foreign companies would be able to offer products and advertise gambling in Denmark. The reports recap the present policy in Denmark, where it is currently illegal for foreign companies to market their products. However, should the government change policy, these companies will be able to set up in the country and compete with Danske Spil offerings.

The minister is quoted as saying: Thats a possible situation, if the foreign bookmakers can live up to the strict regulations we have (in mind) for those who want to offer legal gambling in Denmark. I do not wish any wild west situation. I want a regulated market."

According to Jensen at least part of the development is due to the current difficulty of controlling where people gamble. Danes are gambling, no matter what the law tells them to do, on the Internet where they can frequent a wide selection of foreign bookmakers outside the financial control of the Danish government.

The initial liberalisation of the Danish market will apparently first target the legalisation of knowledge games, bookmaking and other similar Internet games - but the really big game - Lotto - will not be included. Jensen says that whilst foreign companies are mainly interested in the sportsbetting services, the Lotto will remain under Danish control because that is the only way to keep a decent prize pool.

Asked what role EU pressure has played in the decision to libralise, the minister opined that although he believed the government would be able to win any EU trials that may come, it cannot stop the reality, which is that Danes gamble at several online casinos, poker rooms and bookmakers.

If the state monopoly is ending, foreign companies will most likely have to pay for a licence if they want to sell their games in Denmark. This will secure funds to replace the current income from the state monopoly - essential for the young peoples' sport clubs, political youth organisations and numerous other entities that currently are beneficiaries the Danish state monopoly earnings.

"We owe it to the millions who currently get a share from the state monopoly's revenue to investigate how we can keep gambling regulated and how we can use the profit to support the communities and organizations who currently depend on funds from the monopoly," said the tax minister.

The Danish state monopoly Danske Spil last year generated revenues of 11.2 billion Danish kroner. Of this 1.65 billion Danish kroner went to the tipsmidler a fund that supports organisations, and 1.1 billion kroner wwent to the state tax treasury.
 

Casinomeister

Forum Cheermeister
Staff member
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Jun 30, 1998
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Bierland
Now to get the Germans to get with the program - they're allowing their land based casinos to go online. The market needs to open up.
 
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