Lawyers accuse Malta of undermining EU rule of law after gaming bill

The Times of Malta reports

An Austrian law firm and a German lawyer have written to the European Commission accusing the Maltese government of undermining European rule of law through a Bill tabled in parliament to amend Malta’s gaming regulations.

The lawyers claimed that the Maltese government was trying to fast-track the legal changes, which would prevent Maltese courts from enforcing sentences handed down against Maltese gaming companies in foreign jurisdictions.

The letter, addressed to Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders and Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni, particularly targets Economy Minister Silvio Schembri, who is the minister responsible for the gaming industry in Malta.

Lawyers Karim Weber and Benedikt Quarch said they represented a number of Austrian and German citizens and residents against Maltese gaming companies who they claimed were offering a service “in blatant violation of Austrian and German gaming laws” and where the same Maltese gaming companies “do/did not have a license to operate”.

They wanted to bring to the attention of European Commissioners the Maltese government’s attempts to “blatantly undermine European Rule of Law by blocking the fundamental rights of EU Citizens and Residents”.

The lawyers said their clients were winning judgments in Austria and Germany against Maltese gaming companies which were being ordered to pay back all the money they deposited and lost because they were “offering these games illegally and making an unjustified enrichment over our clients”.

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