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Online Gaming Execs Urge European Commission to Act

Fourteen online gambling executives representing 12 companies collectively sent a letter to the Financial Times urging the European Commission to force countries such as Belgium and Greece to abide by European Union policies.

The letter was in response to the questioning of bwin.party co-CEO Norbert Teufelberger last week by Belgium officials following a keynote speech made by the bwin executive at the annual Responsible Gaming Event in Brussels hosted by the European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA). Teufelberger serves as EGBA chairman.

The letter cited the fact that three years have passed without any action since gaming laws in Belgium were called into question. “While the Belgian authorities are free to intimidate Europe’s leading online gaming groups with threats about the consequences of challenging their domestic gambling laws, the European Commission has yet to receive an answer to its own concerns regarding the regulatory regime in Belgium …,” the letter stated.

The letter was signed by executives from Victor Chandler International, bet365, Betclic Everest Group, Winamax, Gamesys, Stan James, 888 Holdings, Sportingbet, bwin.party digital entertainment, Betsson, 32Red and William Hill. Twenty EU member states, including Belgium, are under investigation by the EC and have 70 days to explain their compliance with current EU regulations.

“We hope that the commission will now enforce compliance with the European treaty and do so swiftly,” the letter said. “Countries such as Belgium and Greece that are in clear breach of EU law and that are seeking to enforce those laws domestically are likely to be at the top of the list.”

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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.

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