News broke that online gambling in the European Union can be restricted by local governments according to a new ruling in place. The word came out after the European Court of Justice ruled in favor of Dutch authorities in banning their residents from using the services of online gambling companies from the United Kingdom, Ladbrokes and Betfair.
The European Court of Justice ruled that this was justified by the Dutch licensing rules. The Dutch national lottery company “de Lotto” has a monopoly over sports gambling as it possesses an exclusive license to offer sports-related gambling in the country.
The court also stated that the Dutch rulings fulfill “the objectives of consumer protection and the prevention of both fraud and incitement to squander money on gambling, as well as the need to preserve public order.”
European Union laws on online gambling have unfortunately not been harmonized so the Court also ruled that the firms’ licenses from the UK were not relevant in this case. The decision has allowed the two betting firms to challenge the exclusive license granted to de Lotto.
“This is about the Dutch protecting revenues, and not about protecting people from the negative issues of gambling,” said Ciaran O’Brien, spokesman for Ladbrokes.