CJEU supports EGBA on Dutch lottery licensing case
The Court of Justice of the EU has recently greenlit the EGBA’s appeal concerning the latter’s inquiry into the provision of Dutch lottery licenses.
Back in 2016, the EGBA filed a complaint with the European Commission about the processes by which established lottery operators were being issued their licenses by the regulatory authorities of the Netherlands, stating that these procedures could result in illegal financial benefits for the companies. The Commission closed the complaint a few years ago in 2020, stating that initiating an investigation into the issue was unnecessary.
Shortly after this, the EGBA submitted an appeal to the CJEU against the Commission’s decision, stating that the non-transparent processes by which established Dutch lottery firms were having their licenses renewed could potentially result in illegal financial aid. The EGBA also argued that declining to initiate an appropriate investigation was a violation of its rights under the laws of the EU.
The court recently sided with the EGBA, reversing the Commission’s decision and stating that without an investigation it would not be possible to rule out the possibility of the Dutch licensing process providing certain firms with illegal financial assistance. Under the laws of the EU, the Commission has a duty to initiate an investigation if any suspicion of the existence of illegal state assistance is present.
Furthermore, the Commission was ordered to compensate the EGBA for the costs of submitting the appeal to the court by the CJEU.