The European Commission has, seemingly, completely lost its appetite for arbitrating trade disputes that involve online gambling. In a recent letter to member nations, the Commission stated that they’ll not only not be getting involved in future infringement cases involving online gambling, but that they’re dropping their involvement in all pending cases.
The Commission will, however, continue helping to enforce regulations and intervene in cases that involve unregulated gambling.
So why would the European Union suddenly lose interest in a topic that’s been on its agenda for decades? Apparently they’ve got better things to do…seriously. In a statement posted online explaining why it’s done with online gambling disputes, the Commissioners stated:
From the start, the Juncker Commission has been focusing on its political priorities and pursuing them vigorously. This political approach is also reflected in the Commission’s handling of infringement cases. The Communication “EU law: Better results through better application” sets out the Commission’s approach to prioritising cases in a strategic manner, carefully weighing the various public and private interests involved.
In this vein, the Commission has today decided to close its infringement procedures in the area of online gambling and the treatment of relevant complaints against a number of Member States.
From here on out, these matters will be left to the member states to sort out for themselves.
Not surprisingly, this decision did not sit well with trade groups like the Remote Gaming Association (RGA), which called the move, “highly questionable.” They went on to say that leaving these matters in the hands of member nations could result in court cases that drag on for years with no discernible conclusions.
For better or worse, the RGA is going to find out what life without the European Commission looks like for the online gambling industry.