Friday, October 17, 2008
European Court of Justice on Portuguese gambling monopoly

The European Court of Justice gave a first indication about the direction of a new gambling ruling. The Advocate General of the Court gave his opinion in the case between the Portuguese gambling monopoly and Maltese online bookmaker bWin. The definite ruling of the Court will follow in some months, but it most often follows the direction laid down by the Advocate General.

In his opinion, the Advocate General confirmed the Court's earlier rulings in gambling cases. In brief, these imply that states can uphold gambling monopolies in an European Internal Market if certain conditions are met:

  • restriction are required for overriding reasons relating to the public interest;
  • measures should be proportionate to attaine the objectives which it pursues;
  • measures should be applied in a non-discriminatory way

    The Advocate General explicitely mentions that cross-border online gaming could fall under national gambling restrictions.