European Commission issues detailed opinion against Greek draft law

European Commission

European CommissionGreece’s draft law to regulate online gambling was already under scrutiny before it even was finished being drafted, now the European Commission has heavily criticized the latest draft.

The European Commission issued a detailed opinion today against the Greek draft law sending a message that the Commission has strong concerns about the compatibility of the draft Greek legislation with EU law.

The European Gambling and Betting Association (EGBA) trade association identified a number of provisions which are questionable under EU law, namely:

1. The requirement for EU licensed online gaming companies to be established in Greece

2. The requirement to have a bank guarantee from a bank established in Greece

3. Limiting the number of available licenses

4. Opening the tendering procedure only to capital companies with a minimum paid-up capital

5. Limiting financial transfers via local banks or local branches of international banks only

Essentially, Greece must now take into account the objections, or the European Commission could launch infringement proceedings.

Sigrid Ligné, secretary general of EGBA, said on the EGBA website: “We share the Commission’s assessment of the Greek draft regulation. The requirements in the current draft are highly questionable under EU law, and this begs the question as to how viable the future market will be for EU licensed operators”.

It makes you wonder who is writing up this legislation, there’s so many points of contention and the current draft is still not clear about the types of games that may be offered by EU licensed operators.

EGBA has called on Greek lawmakers to clarify these points but today’s detailed opinions extend the standstill period until 8 August 2011, during which, Greece will be unable to adopt its draft regulation, and is required to reply to the Commission’s views.