EU Criticises Germany’s Proposed Gaming Legislation
German gamers were given fresh hopes of greater freedoms this week after ministers were called upon to relax the terms of proposed gambling legislation. Criticism from British and Maltese authorities as well as other EU members could force the country to open up its existing market which is currently tightly controlled by its 16 states. The move arrives in the aftermath of protests from betting companies located throughout the continent which have complained that the rules could seriously impair their chances of competing in the industry.
The European Commission is now urging the German government to take into consideration the verdicts reached by the European Court of Justice in September last year. A statement issued on behalf of Betfair confirmed that representatives had “submitted comments to the European Commission that raise serious doubts about the legality of the draft treaty”. The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) echoed their concern – noting that provisions would “effectively slam the door in the face of EU operators”.
The developments have been greeted with considerable excitement by members of the gaming community at large – an optimism reflected by figures on the London stock exchange. BwinParty and Betfair both witnessed an increase in shares by a value of 5.5 percent and 2.6 percent respectively in the immediate aftermath of the announcement.
Meanwhile UBS analyst, Simon Whittington, expressed confidence in the prospect of change. The latest events “decrease the likelihood of a full closure of the German market”, he said, before adding that the Commission’s announcement was “clearly supportive for operators’ arguments”. Germany has been given until August 18th to offer a response.