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Consumer-Led Campaign Launched to End Betting Monopolies

13th October 2009 8:02 am GMT

With the Lisbon Treaty close to being ratified with only the Czech Republic left to sign the European Union reform plan, a new campaign has been launched to take advantage of possible new rules under the treaty which would allow citizens across the EU the right to petition the European Commission. The grassroots campaign by betting consumers calls for an end to state-controlled betting monopolies in EU member states and hopes to attract at least one million signatures.

The right to petition is a key part of the Treaty, which states that if a petition attracts at least one million signatures, it can be presented to the European Commission. Last week both Ireland and Poland added their signatures to the treaty, with only the Czech Republic remaining as the last opposition to the treaty among the 27 EU member states.

Calling for an end to state-approved betting monopolies in EU member states such as Germany, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands, Right2bet wants the European Commission to enforce EU laws on free trade and force member states to allow their citizens to use any betting providers licensed in other member states, rather than restricting their choice to just state-approved providers based within their own borders.

The campaign has approached the issue with a deliberately fun and provocative theme to generate momentum and support for the cause, and is urging betting fans to visit its site and virtually sign its online 'naked petition'.

"Betting fans in Europe are fed up of being told by politicians how and where they can bet. It's not fair that they should be restricted to one or two operators based in their own country, when there are so many other opportunities in the EU," said Michael Robb, spokesperson for the Right2Bet campaign.

"Ireland's endorsement for the Treaty is a big step towards new democratic rights for EU citizens. It's perhaps a sign of the internet age that, through online petitions like our own, we can mobilise and unite consumers from across the continent for a common goal and really make EU politicians sit up and take notice.

"The ratification in Ireland makes these petitions a real possibility, so it is now more important than ever that we get votes from anyone and everyone who cares about a consumer's freedom to choose," added Robb.

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