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Judge in Malta Strikes Down Law Prohibiting Casino Advertising

A judge in Malta struck down a law that banned casino advertising on the island, noting that such a law violates the casino's right to freedom of expression and that any such regulations in the Malta Gaming Act are void.

The case was originally brought by Laurence Grech, who edited The Sunday Times, a newspaper based on the island nation. Grech faced criminal charges in 2003 for publishing an advertorial which featured the Oracle Casino which he had published at no charge.

The ruling was made by Mr Justice Gino Camilleri, who noted that Grech had his rights violated, and that the laws currently on the books prohibiting casino advertising are also illegal.

The Times of Malta newspaper wrote about the ruling stating: "The court added that the State had licensed casinos to operate in Malta. These were accessible to the Maltese public. Thus, the ban on casino advertising was a cosmetic gesture because such advertising for casinos used primarily by tourists and on the Internet was allowed. Maltese nationals could easily have access to the advertising directed at tourists, as happened in the airport."

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