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EC calls time on internet betting bans

First step of investigation

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The European Commission (EC) is making official requests for information to Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden as to why they are restricting access to internet betting services. This is the first stage to a full investigation or "infringement procedure".

All the named countries restrict internet betting and the EC is concerned that the measures may break EC law on the free movement of services.

The seven countries have two months to respond.

The inquiry follows complaints from a number of operators and an initial EC fact finding mission.

The statement says that any restriction on services which seeks to protect consumers must be "consistent and systematic" in how it limits betting. So a member state may not ban online betting while promoting a national lottery or state-backed bookies.

Read the EC press release here. ®

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