Here is the weekly recap of the top legal news in the Internet gaming world for the week of Sept. 22-26:
- Court: Danish preferred Internet Gaming Tax Rate OK
- Hong Kong Won’t Block Internet Gaming Sites
- Norway Begins Internet Gaming Assessment
Court: Danish preferred Internet Gaming Tax Rate OK
Thursday, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Denmark’s Internet gaming tax complied with European Union State Aid rules. The tax regime was challenged by the Royal Scandinavian Casino, claiming unfair treatment in the tax disparity between Internet and land-based operators violated Article 87 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
Offline suppliers are taxed as much as 70% whereas the online regime that began to come into place after 2008 has a 20% tax rate. The Royal Scandinavian Casino claimed the Danish government’s application of Article 87 to support a preferred tax rate for online gaming was improper.
The court found that it could not conclude that the favorable tax rate was the reason for increased profits for Internet gaming providers and any decrease in profits for land-based operators which could be the result of the economic crisis in the European Union.
The matter is Royal Scandinavian Casino Århus AS v Commission (T615-11)
Hong Kong Won’t Block Internet Gaming Sites
While recent Singapore legislation would lead to strict online gambling regulatory oversight, the Hong Kong Bureau of Home Affairs announced this week that it had no intention of blocking individual’s internet access and unlicensed online gambling sites.
The Hong Kong Bureau of Home Affairs told media outlets that it would continue to focus on other methods of tackling illegal online gambling.
Norway Begins Internet Gaming Assessment
The Norwegian Stortinget’s (parliament) Family and Cultural Affairs Committee began an assessment of Internet gaming and Internet poker proposals. The focus, according to Committee Chairman Svein Harberg, is to take already existing illegal Internet gaming and bring it under a regulatory framework.
A review of existing regulatory structures – i.e. Denmark and Sweden – will be the focus of the assessment in anticipation of Norwegian legislation.