The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that its countries cannot restrict online gambling, solely for economic reasons or protecting commercial interests.
The ruling was reached on Thursday and states that laws which prohibit cross-border gambling are illegal under European Union law. Countries that enact laws that do so violate Articles 43 EC and 49 EC which states that states must refrain "from protecting the market positions acquired by the existing operators, by providing, inter alia, that a minimum distance must be observed between the establishments of new license holders and those of existing operators."
Commenting on the ruling trade association EGBA Secretary General Maarten Haijer said, “We very much welcome the Court’s crystal clear conclusion that Member States cannot preclude cross border gambling activities in the EU. It confirms the CJEU’s regulatory “red lines” which member states cannot be allowed to cross. The time has come for the Commission to enforce those red lines in Member States’ national law – if needed through infringement proceedings.”
The case originated in Italy, although various other countries have passed similar laws which prohibit online gambling or severely restrict it in order to protect their own monopolies.
Casino Listings news will update its news section as fallout from the ruling begins to be heard from EU member states.