Dutch Council of State rules in Betfairs favour

News on 25 Mar 2011

Coming on the heels of the about turn the Dutch government has made in respect of online gambling, the Dutch publication juridischdagblad.nl reports that the Dutch Council of State has ruled in favour of betting exchange Betfair’s dispute against the Netherlands government over the right to provide gambling services to Dutch citizens.
The dispute dates back to 2004 when Betfair challenged the renewal of licences of De Lotto and SGR by the Dutch Ministry without a transparent tender process.  Betfair’s stance was that Dutch authorities were obliged to recognise its UK licence according to European Union law.  Betfair also challenged Dutch authorities on the principle of transparency when it came to the licence renewal procedure under a single-licence statute in line with principles of the EU Treaty when the Dutch Ministry refused to consider the betting exchange’s licence application to operate in the Netherlands.
Following advice for the European Court of Justice, the Dutch Council of State has ruled that the Dutch Ministry of Justice’s refusal to consider Betfair’s licence application was illegal and that the licensing procedure in the Netherlands is in breach of European Union law.
The decision is reportedly not eligible for appeal.

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