For as long as anyone can remember, online gambling has been on the rocks in Europe. And when I say "rocks", I don't mean like in the U.S. In Europe, it hasn't been so much about making online gambling illegal because of so-called moral issues, as it has because of gambling monopolies. Oh wait, then again, the moral issues in the U.S. are being funded by the religious right. Nonetheless, in Europe, the whole grey area of online gambling is increasingly becoming black and white.
Alot of this "clearing things up" in Europe can be credited to the European Union's no-nonsense Compliance Commission, Charlie McCreevy, who has been very vocal and active about ensuring open trade amidst the sea of state-run casino gambling monopolies in Europe. One of the largest of these monopolies is the Francaise des Jeux of France. Widely in the news of late, France has shown signs of a willingness to comply with EU rules, but is ultimately blocking online casinos and gambling sites from doing business with French citizens.
It would be one thing if the countries being eyed by McCreevy did not have gambling monopolies in place. But that just isn't the case. And although some EU member State's claim they are protecting their citizens, McCreevy doesn't buy it. The hard-nosed Commissioner has always been vocal about urging countries to change their policies. His most recent warning came at the European Policy Centre meeting in Brussels, stating that it is "inevitable" some EU members will find themselves in the European Court of Justice.
Ten member nations are currently in the hot seat with McCreevy, including France, Sweden, Germany, Greece, Denmark and The Netherlands. As mentioned, France has shown both promise and adamant defiance. The former, however, seems to especially be the case now that France will soon have a new President. According to French press, the incoming Sarkozy administration has definite plans to liberate the online gambling industry in France.
Even the Partouche casino group confirmed the rumors, and more surprisingly, welcomed the news. And surely if France steps up to regulate internet betting, other EU member states will open to the possibility of doing the same.