Many European online casino operators have been waiting for years for the European Commission to act on complaints that several European countries have passed gambling laws that could be interpreted as being protectionist. Most of the complaints made refer to country specific legislation which prevents the free movement of services within all countries that are members of the European Union. Recently the European commission decided to finally move against seven countries belonging to the European Union in a first response to complaints made over time. In all there are complaints remaining against more than twenty European Union member countries.
There have been many cases taken against countries that have passed laws that tend to protect their own online casino operators above those operators based outside their borders. Sometimes these laws protect various operators based in the country but also state monopolies are given rights not granted to outside operators. There are regular updates to the blacklist held by the Belgian government naming all of the online casinos that are banned for Belgian citizens. (See article: Even more online casinos blacklisted in Belgium). Belgium is not the only European country that requires online casino operators to hold a local gambling licence even if they already hold a recognised European online gambling licence. There have been similar problems in Greece and also the state gambling monopoly OPAP has been granted rights denied to any other operators. Earlier this year the European Gaming and Betting Association and the Remote Gambling Association made a joint complaint to the European Commission about Greek protectionism in online gambling.Both the European Gaming and Betting Association and the Remote Gambling Association are pleased that the European Commission has finally made a move against the countries which appear to be contravening the law. However the Remote Gambling association has let it be known that it is disappointed that no countries have so far been brought before the European court of Justice even though it appears there is sufficient evidence to justify such cases.The countries that were recently sent notification letters from the European commission for “infringement proceedings” against European Union legislation are : Belgium, Romania, Poland, Cyprus, Lithuania and the Czech Republic. Sweden was sent two requests to modify its gambling laws to bring them into line with European Union legislation.