Betfair has praised the European Commission (EC) for taking action against Greece’s Draft Gambling Law. The betting exchange has been against the proposals from the start as the draft law implicitly prohibits companies like them from operating.
Martin Cruddace, Betfair’s Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer said: “Betfair is pleased that the EU Commission has issued a detailed opinion on the proposed draft Greek gambling laws. In issuing this opinion, the Commission has made it clear in no uncertain terms that the Greek draft law is incompatible with EU law. We expect the Greek authorities to amend their proposals accordingly and are hopeful of participating in the newly regulated Greek gambling market as and when it comes in to force.”
After the original law was released, Betfair filed a legal complaint and urged the country to change a number of the points. The EC yesterday issued strong concerns that the law doesn’t fit with European Law and the European Gambling and Betting Association (EGBA) identified a list of amendments that might be helpful. If I were Greece my Facebook status would read: we be fucked.
Meanwhile horseracing is looking to advance discussions in relation to establishing a “betting right” payment from bookmakers. John Penrose MP put three opinions forward in May looking at changing the 50-year-old levy system. A coalition of the British Horseracing Authority, Racecourse Association, Jockey Club, and Horsemen’s Group come under the banner Racing United, and are fighting for the changes. One member of the group, Simon Bazalgette, chief executive of the Jockey Club, said, “If you take the current levy rate of 10% and there’s gross win of about £1bn on British racing, then you’d be up at the £100m level on that basis.
“The aim is to increase it by ensuring that more money is bet on British racing and that British racing is better off as a result.”
Chris Brand, BHA’s acting chief executive, added, “Our solution is for an intellectual property right backed up by a licensing regime that catches the payments from offshore operators, with no linkage whatsoever between payments for media rights and payments related to betting.”
It’s still unclear as to which way the levy will go but with the amount of companies not based in the UK operating, the betting right is a distinct possibility.