The European Commission on Thursday gave Greece and the Netherlands a final warning before court action over restrictions in their gambling markets. The countries have two months to reply. Failure to do so or a response deemed inadequate could mean they face theÂ European Court of Justice.
The agency objects to Greek restrictions on gambling and advertising, and Dutch restraints on sports betting, applied to foreign competitors. The EU internal market commissioner, Charlie McCreevy, is overseeing legal action against about 10 of the EU’s 27 member states to crack down on national hurdles to competition from gambling companies based elsewhere in the bloc.
“If member states wish to ban gambling,” McCreevy said, “well, then I won’t cry at night about it. But they can’t be discriminatory against legally authorized gambling companies from other member states.”