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Summary of the decision of the European Ombudsman in case 425/2017/ANA on the European Commission’s alleged failure to enforce EU law on online gambling services in certain Member States

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  • Case: 425/2017/ANA
    Opened on 10 Apr 2017 - Decision on 02 Mar 2018
  • Institution(s) concerned: European Commission

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) which represents online gaming and betting operators in the European Union, made a number of infringement complaints to the European Commission arguing that the regulatory framework for online gambling in certain Member States was not in line with EU law.

As EGBA was concerned that the Commission did not follow up on these complaints, and did not engage in an open dialogue with stakeholders, it turned to the European Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman inquired into the case. In the course of the inquiry, the Commission decided to close all the infringement complaints. The Ombudsman noted that the Commission has wide discretion on whether and how to pursue infringement cases and that the decision taken fell within the boundaries of that discretion. The Ombudsman inspected the Commission’s files concerning several Member States in order to evaluate the Commission’s procedural handling of the infringement complaints in the light of the relevant rules and principles. On the basis of the inspection, she found that the Commission had not committed maladministration. Therefore, the Ombudsman closed the case.