Unibet Appeal Denied in Netherlands Court, EU Action Looms
Ahead of a scheduled vote wherein Dutch legislators will consider UIGEA-style legislation designed to restrict access to the Dutch online gambling market for international court, a Netherlands Court has denied an appeal in a related case by Unibet, admitting in its ruling that its interpretation is different than that called for by European Union treaty.
Unibet had been judged guilty of violating the Dutch Gaming Act and infringing upon the market rights of the Dutch state lottery, De Lotto (The Lotto). The October, 2007 ruling called for Unibet to pay De Lotto €100,000 per day, up to a maximum of €3,000,000, plus legal costs, for continuing to serve the Dutch market in offering wagering on amateur soccer games in the Netherlands. The recent denial upheld the decision in favor of De Lotto.
One report notes that this is the 17th time that competitors to De Lotto's market interests have been struck down in court rulings. In this most recent ruling, the court rejected as a part of Unibet's appeal that the Dutch Gaming Act was in violation of EU accords. The Dutch court, however, noted that the European Union did not share that opinion and that proceedings against the Netherlands over access to the Dutch online gambling market are likely to occur.
Said De Lotto director Tjeerd Veenstra, "Illegal gambling threatens both the integrity of the sport as well as donations to the sport and other good aims. That is the reason why [De Lotto] fights rock hard for the conservation of these interests."