European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA) deems ruling a landmark decision

In its ruling of 10 July 2007 regarding the case of PMU, the state horse race betting agency, versus the Malta-based private online provider, Zeturf, the French Cour de Cassation expressed serious doubts about the conformity of the French sports betting monopoly with Community law. It implicitly argued that the French regulations are not in compliance with Art. 49 of the EC Treaty on the freedom to provide services by holding that the French court of appeal was unable to prove that the access restrictions currently in place were proportional and appropriate.  The decision by the Supreme Court is to be sent back to a Paris court of appeal for a rehearing. France’s Supreme Court has hence confirmed the opinion of the European Commission, which had presented France with a reasoned opinion on 27 June 2007, emphatically refuting France’s arguments for retaining the gaming monopoly.  According to Sigrid Ligné Secretary General of EGBA: “This decision sets a precedent and strengthens the position of our association. We are calling for the establishment of fair conditions to ensure a regulated opening of the European gaming market. The aim is to protect consumers’ interests by establishing uniform industry standards of the highest level across Europe, as well as develop a competitive tax model for the benefit of all stakeholder groups.”

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For further information or comment please contact: Sigrid Ligné: +32 (0) 2 256 7527

The EGBA is an association of the leading European gaming and betting operators Bet-at-home.combwinCarmen Media GroupExpektInterwettenPartyGaming and Unibet. EGBA is a Brussels-based non-profit making association. It promotes the right of private gaming and betting operators that are based and licensed in one EU Member State to promote their services in the EU