If you're from the UK and like to get your gamble on, you've likely heard of
BetFair. Widely considered to be the largest bookmaker in the world (with an
estimated 2,000,000 customers), the headquartered BetFair is not only a name to
be trusted, it is a name to be reckoned with. You might recall back in 2007 when
BetFair took Western Australia to court, and won, when officials there
proclaimed a ban against online betting exchanges.
Now, BetFair is taking the Dutch government to court,
following a decision by the Dutch Ministry of Justice to
begin coercing banking institutions to terminate
processing transactions for online gambling operators.
Not even batting an eye, BeFair was the first betting
operator to stand up against the Dutch government - and
certainly may not be the last.
For what BetFair's Managing Director, Mark Davies, is
calling a "fly in the face of EU principles of open and
fair competition", BetFair has also lodged a formal
complaint with the European Commission, which may not
have as great an impact following a recent decision by
the EU to allow member State's the right to individually
decide on whether to adopt online gambling regulations
But like I said, BetFair knows how to throw around
it's weight. Being a licensed operator in the EU, not to
mention the strictest jurisdictions in the world - UK,
Malta, Germany and Austria included - BetFair certainly
doesn't have anything to hide. As far as they are
concerned, they haven't done anything wrong. The only
wrong, says BetFair, is the protectionism being
exhibited by the Dutch government.
Davies referred to the Ministry of Justice's actions
as a "desperate move" to protect the Dutch State
gambling monopoly - something which isn't new whatsoever
with EU member States. However, what makes this case the
more ironic, as Davies pointed out, is the fact that The
Netherlands is one of the founding members of the single
market. Apparently, there is no such thing as a single
market when it comes to online gambling.