Copenhagen, 26 September 2014
Today, the General Court of the EU issued a ruling in State aid cases T-601/11 (Dansk Automat Brancheforening v Commission) and T-615/11 (Royal Scandinavian Casino Århus v Commission), confirming the differentiated Danish tax regime for online gambling (see ruling). The applicants had challenged the European Commission's decision that a differentiated tax regime for on- and offline gambling is compliant with EU State aid rules. The Court found that the land-based applicants are not individually affected by the tax regime. It confirms that Member States can continue to set a tax level for online gambling that takes into account the competitive global .com offer in order to ensure that consumers are channelled to the regulated offer.
The two cases were brought by land-based applicants against the European Commission’s Decision to approve the Danish taxation model for online and offline gambling, which establishes different taxation levels for the two different types of gambling. The Danish tax level for online gambling was set at a level taking into account the need to channel the Danish consumer towards the regulated online gambling offer which is key in safeguarding the public policy objectives of the Danish Gaming Act. The Court today ruled that such differentiated tax measures are of general application and there is no specific aspect that can demonstrate that the applicants are specifically and individually affected by the tax measure.
According to the Court:
"[T]he applicant has not demonstrated […] that the aid measure in question was liable to have a substantial adverse effect on the position of one or more of its members on the market concerned. The applicant’s members and, consequently, the applicant are therefore not individually concerned by the contested decision." (T-601/11, para 52)
For more information, please contact: Morten Ronde, CEO of DOGA: +45 2088 7210, firstname.lastname@example.org
Background information on the case
In case T-601/11, on 30 November 2011 and in case T-615/11, on 06 December 2011, the applicants submitted a challenge to the Commission Decision of 20 September 2011 in Case No C 35/2010 (ex N 302/2010) on measures which Denmark is planning to implement in the form of duties for online gaming in the Danish Gaming Duties Act.
DOGA is the trade association for online gambling in Denmark. It was established in December 2011 to represent the sector in Denmark and abroad. Its governing body is the Executive Committee which is selected by the full membership every year. Online gambling is the fastest growing sector of the gambling industry. It is a huge business and one of the internet's greatest commercial success stories. Against that background the DOGA is committed to promoting a well-regulated and non-discriminatory Danish environment for responsible licensed operators.