Belgian Online Gambling Poses Trade Violations, Says EU
July 6, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — Last week, Belgium joined France and the U.S. on the list of nations notified by the European Commission that its operations are in violation of international trade agreements. Apparently, the Commission (which is the regulatory arm of the European Union) believes that Belgium’s trade violations are based on its attempts to block foreign operators out of its tightly regulated Internet gambling market.
The European Commission recently rejected a new draft of Belgian law that sought to maintain these strict regulations. According to PokerNews.com, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), the powerful organization that represents a number of well-established European Internet firms, has been vocal in supporting the European Commission’s claims against Belgium.
How Belgium reacts is unpredictable; France has reacted to similar pressure by making plans to open its online gambling market to foreign competition, while the U.S. has so far basically ignored all comments from the European Commission.