EU ruling opens door for online betting crackdown

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EU ruling opens door for online betting crackdown

BRUSSELS Online bookmakers such as the one behind the multi-million sponsorship of Real Madrid can be banned by individual EU states, Europe's top court said Tuesday in a landmark ruling set to hit the industry.

The decision by the European Court of Justice said that online betting could be blocked in countries that opt to run state gambling monopolies such as Finland, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden.
By Roddy Thomson
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Top EU court deals blow to online gaming

State-owned lotteries across the EU claimed a great victory against competition from internet gaming sites as Europes top court gave its first ruling in a sports betting case.

In a case involving Bwin, an Austrian operator, and the Portuguese state gambling monopoly, the European Court of Justice said EU states should be allowed to restrict freedom to provide services in the gambling area if there was overriding public interest.
By Nikki Tait in Brussels and Roger Blitz in London

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