Page last updated at 15:36 GMT, Thursday, 3 June 2010 16:36 UK

Online gambling blocks backed by European court

Dice
The court cited the need to prevent the "incitement to squander money"

Online gambling in the EU can be restricted by national governments, according to a new ruling.

The European Court of Justice found Dutch authorities were right to block their residents from using UK-based Ladbrokes and Betfair's online betting.

The Dutch national lottery company holds an exclusive licence to offer sports-related gambling.

As EU laws on online gambling have not been harmonised, the court said the firms' UK licences were not relevant.

The court added that Dutch licensing rules were justified, so long as they met "the objectives of consumer protection and the prevention of both fraud and incitement to squander money on gambling, as well as the need to preserve public order".

Challenge

The Dutch licensing arrangement effectively gives its lottery company - de Lotto - a monopoly over sports gambling.

The profits earned by de Lotto are used to fund various public projects, particularly in public health and sports.

However, the decision leaves the door open for the two betting firms to challenge the exclusive licence granted to de Lotto in the Dutch courts.

"This is about the Dutch protecting revenues, and not about protecting people from the negative issues of gambling," said Ciaran O'Brien, spokesman for Ladbrokes.

The Dutch would need to prove that de Lotto's monopoly helped to prevent fraud or reduce the social ills associated with gambling.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Concern grows over gambling in UK
13 Feb 10 |  Business
GPs 'overlooking' problem gamblers
08 Feb 10 |  Health

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific