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Austria accused of operating gambling monopoly

10 October 2006

AUSTRIA – As reported by Reuters: "Austria's finance minister on Tuesday downplayed suggestions by the European Commission that a betting monopoly operated in the country, as Vienna faces a possible court case for refusing to open its gambling market.

"'Many European and worldwide providers offer gambling and betting in Austria via the Internet, so the question presents itself -- what makes a monopoly in this sector, a sector where there is worldwide competition on the Internet,' Karl-Heinz Grasser told reporters.

"…The bloc's internal market chief said many states were likely to face court action over gambling monopolies that make it difficult for others to compete.

"'It will be Austria, Italy and France on Thursday if everything goes according to plan,' Charlie McCreevy told reporters.

"…The 25-nation EU's executive arm started legal action against Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Hungary in April and those proceedings will continue, McCreevy said…"

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