Background - Practices (Details)
Betting & Gambling
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OUR TEAM

We have longstanding experience in advising companies in the betting and gambling industry. Our team is led by Thomas De Meese, “a very intelligent and well-prepared lawyer whose practice encompasses gaming, betting, telecoms, IT, media, and competition” (Chambers Europe, 2012). We provide legal services to betting and gambling clients both in Belgium and internationally. We understand the industry’s need for pragmatic advice in an area where awareness of social and political sensitivities is nearly as important as regulatory compliance.

REGULATORY

Our team is experienced in all aspects of land-based and remote gambling and betting. We advise the industry's leading names on regulatory compliance and market entry strategies, licensing requirements and tendering procedures. Our services also include challenging the validity of legal restrictions on nondomestic service providers, and we assist clients in combating anti-competitive behavior by monopoly holders or dominant market participants. Our lawyers are frequently called upon by clients to intervene in the public affairs process through speaking engagements, drafting position papers or lobbying with government officials.

LITIGATION

We regularly litigate before the constitutional, administrative, criminal, civil and commercial courts in matters related to both online and offline gambling and betting. We have also been involved in several national litigations in which the validity of national monopolies or licensing schemes was contested.

GENERAL COMMERCIAL

Although the vast majority of our lawyers are experienced litigators, their first objective is to help businesses to prevent and resolve disputes quickly and successfully, preferably out of court. However, it is not always possible to avoid litigation. Our team has developed preeminent experience in high-profile court actions concerning counterfeit, the (non)infringement of copyright-protected content, neighboring rights, unregistered designs and personality rights (image, name, and voice) in various industries ranging from the fashion sector to the advertising industry and cable network sector.

With regard to pre-trial discovery proceedings and the gathering of evidence of intellectual property right infringements, we are one of Belgium’s leading practices.

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

  • Assisting a landbased betting company with its complaint to the national competition authority of a member state about anticompetitive behavior by a state monopolist expanding its activities into sports betting.
  • Devising arguments for a complaint by a remote betting operator to the national competition authority of a member state regarding cross-subsidization and predatory practices.
  • Filing complaints with the European Commission against Member States for non-compliance with European Community law in the field of the freedom to provide cross-border gambling and betting services and to advertise for such services.
  • Initiating several proceedings before the Belgian Constitutional Court against the modified Belgian Gambling Act.
  • Representing an international online betting provider in proceedings against the Belgian State with respect to the sponsoring of a Belgian premier league football team.
  • Representing Dutch and German companies before the Belgian criminal courts with respect to the organization of group participations in lotteries.
  • Advising a Belgian cable operator on the organization of a promotional campaign in relation to a football-related offer.