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CJEU Orders Formal Investigation into Dutch Lottery Licensing Process



CJEU Mandates Comprehensive Review of Dutch Lottery Licensing Following EGBA Appeal

In a landmark ruling, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has directed a formal investigation into the Netherlands’ lottery licensing process, upholding an appeal by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA). This decision signals a significant shift in the ongoing discourse around state aid and gambling regulation within the EU.

The EGBA’s successful appeal stems from its initial complaint in 2016, which accused the Netherlands of providing illegal financial benefits to its incumbent lottery operators. Despite the European Commission (EC) dismissing the need for an investigation in 2020, citing the absence of illegal state aid in the Dutch licensing process, the EGBA persisted.

Arguing that the renewal of lottery licenses without a transparent allocation process violated EU law, the EGBA contended that the EC’s refusal to investigate infringed upon its rights under EU statutes. The CJEU concurred, noting an infringement of rights and highlighting the EC’s failure to probe potential unfair advantages gained by certain parties.

Now, the EC is obligated to launch a formal investigation into state aid within the Dutch lottery system and bear the costs of EGBA’s legal challenge.


Maarten Haijer, Secretary-General of the EGBA, expressed confidence in the forthcoming EC investigation and affirmed the association’s readiness to provide necessary data and information. He emphasized the importance of consistent enforcement of EU law across all sectors, including gambling, to maintain the EC’s integrity as the guardian of EU Treaties.

In related developments, the EGBA has endorsed Finland’s proposed legislative project to liberalize its gambling market. The Finnish Ministry of the Interior is moving to dismantle the state-operated Veikkaus monopoly and introduce a licensing system. This shift aims to address the growing number of Finnish players engaging with unlicensed offshore operators and to enhance overall channelisation in the country.

With the impending closure of Casino Tampere and anticipated staff reductions at Veikkaus, the Finnish gambling landscape is poised for a significant transformation. These developments in both the Netherlands and Finland mark crucial steps in the ongoing evolution of European gambling regulation, underscoring the need for transparency, fairness, and adherence to EU law in the lottery and gambling sectors.


Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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