The General Court of the European Union recently upheld the European Commission’s decision confirming that the Danish government’s lower tax rate for online gambling does comply with E.U. state-aid rules. The court found that the applicants in the cases of Dansk Automat Brancheforening v. Commission and Royal Scandinavian Casino Århus v. Commission did not prove that they were directly and individually affected by the tax measure, paving the way for member states to adopt different tax rates for online gambling in order to compete in the international online gambling market.
The court specifically ruled on the issue of whether the applicants, both land-based gambling operators, were affected by the commission’s decision. In each case, the court concluded that “the applicant is therefore not individually concerned by the contested decision,” meaning that implementing an internationally competitive tax structure, that will ensure the public policy objectives of the Danish Gambling Act 2012, clearly complies with E.U. law.