The European Commission is stepping up legal action against Denmark, Finland and Hungary to open up the EU’s gambling market to more competition. Investigations involving Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Italy are continuing as well. The European Court of Justice can fine states that fail to change their law to conform with EU Internal Market rules. Many EU countries have state-owned betting monopolies that can hamper foreign firms from entering their domestic markets.
Countries such as France have recently adopted a much tougher stance towards online gambling. Betting firms complain this is purely to protect their own state lotteries. If true, that would go against a previous ruling by Europe’s top court that said restrictions to protect consumers must be “consistent and systematic.”