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EU ATTORNEY GENERAL IN NEW ONLINE GAMBLING OPINION
Thursday, October 27, 2011 : Unless it is non-discriminatory, suitable and proportional, prevention of cross-border gambling is against the Treaty
The rather muddied legal waters around the question of free movement of goods and services between companies in member states of the European Union has hopefully been made a little clearer with the publication Thursday of a new opinion from the European Court of Justice Advocate General's office.
Advocate General Cruz Villalón issued his opinion on the joined Costa and Cifone cases regarding the access of British gambling operator Stanleybet to Italian licenses (Cases C-72/10 and C-77/10).
Stanleybet had claimed that the procedure to award Italian licenses protects operators that already had local licenses during a period in which the licensing procedure unlawfully excluded certain operators.
Advocate General Villalón opined that licensing systems and procedures in EU nations must respect the requirements of the Treaty.
Advocate Villalón, recalled the requirements needed to justify restrictions on the freedom to provide services between EU member nations, which apply in the Stanleybet case...in particular that legislation must be non-discriminatory, suitable and proportional.
“National legislation which prevents any type of cross border gambling activity, irrespective of how this activity is exercised, ... , is contrary to articles 49 and 56 of the TFEU” the Advocate's opinion reads at para 82.
"National legislation that tends generally to protect holders of licences issued at an earlier period on the basis of a procedure that unlawfully excluded some operators can be regarded as an unjustified restriction of the freedom to provide services" he emphasises at para 58 of the opinion. "Maintaining the business position of such historical concession holders is contrary to the Treaty provisions."
The Advocate also notes at para 69: “Articles 49 and 56 of the TFEU oppose national legislation which guarantees the continuation of acquired commercial positions on the basis of a procedure which illegally excluded a number of operators.”
A date for the ruling of the European Court of Justice has not yet been set.
Commenting on the opinion today, Maarten Haijer, director of Regulatory Affairs at the European Gaming and Betting Association trade representative body, said: “We welcome the opinion of the Advocate General which confirms that Member States´ gambling legislation needs to comply with the basic requirements of the Treaty.
"It is the cornerstone of the Internal Market that a European licensed operator should have access to licenses in other Member States and be able to offer cross border services.”
“With several preliminary questions pending in Italy alone, it is clear that we can´t continue to expect the European Court of Justice to shape the European market. The European legislator needs to step in and introduce regulation that addresses and harmonises licensing standards within the EU.”
Betradar Launches US Sports Betting Solutions -
With only a few weeks to go until the betting and gambling world descends on ICE in London, Betradar have today announced that they will be launching a comprehensive range of tools and services to any company that will be looking to provide sports betting in a post-PASPA United States.
Final 12 For MPNPT Morocco -
Sunday on the MPN Poker Tour Morocco will see several trophies awarded at the Mazagan Beach Resort, with the largest going to the Main Event champion along with a prize of MAD 400,000 (c.€35,400).
MPNPT Morocco Updates -
Leading the 104 combined survivors from both flights is still Said El-Yousfi with 272,000 chips; visit the MPN Poker Tour blog for an end-of-day recap and full chip counts.
MPN Poker Tour Morocco Day 1A -
The MPN Poker Tour has returned to Morocco this week (January 11-14), featuring the MAD 1.5 million guaranteed Main Event, accompanying side events, and the activities and parties for which this tour has now become known on two continents.
2018 MPN Poker Classic -
The MPN announces the return of The Classic tournament series this January. The series is back following its successful €350,000 guaranteed debut in 2017. This time €500,000 is guaranteed, along with a once in a lifetime trip to Monaco for the Classic Champion.
PDC and Sportradar Renew Deal -
Following this month’s hugely successful World Championship, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and long-standing partners Sportradar have renewed their multi-faceted cooperation that will see the leader in sports data and content continuing in their role as official data
Poker Yaar Joins MPN -
Available through download, instant play and mobile, Pokeryaar.com is live with Omaha, Hold’em and Five-Card poker variants, alongside MPN’s Fish Party, the industry’s only progressive jackpot SNGs.
New MPN Poker Rooms Tower Torneos -
Impressed with Microgaming, having already integrated with the Quickfire platform to gain access to some of the industry’s best gaming content, Tower Torneos has extended the relationship with poker.<
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