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Online Casino News - May, 2009

BetFair Files Lawsuit Against The Netherlands


  Seed Newsvine

by Devon Chappell, News Staff Writer

May 11, 2009

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 or not.

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.



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