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July 12,2012 : EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE RULES ON GAMBLING ADVERTISING
HIT Larix case provides marketing clarification for EU Member States
The European Court of Justice has ruled that an EU Member State cannot prohibit gambling advertising from another Member State merely on grounds that the protection guaranteed in that Member State is not identical to the domestic rules.
On 12 July 2012, the Court found in the HIT and HIT Larix case (C-176/11), an issue based on the rejection by Austrian authorities of an advertising permit application submitted by a casino operated in Slovenia.
The ruling provides a number of important clarifications on how Member States must address cross border gambling advertising:
* When granting advertising permits "the levels of protection for gamblers that exist in the various legal systems concerned must first be compared."
* A Member State can require that "the applicable legislation ensures protection against the risks of gaming that is in essence of a level equivalent to that which it guarantees itself". But, it cannot require "the rules in the other Member State to be identical" to its own, which would be disproportionate.
In any case, Member States "cannot impose rules not directly related to protection against the risks of gaming". If Member States impose rules that protect incumbents, such provisions cannot justify restrictions of the freedom to provide services as decided in the recent Costa and Cifone ruling (C-72/10).
The ruling is a further illustration of the need for harmonisation of online gambling laws in EU States, the trade body European Gaming and Betting Association said Thursday, emphasising that its members adhere to the EGBA Standards and the Responsible Remote Gambling Measures set out by the European Committee for Standardisation, most of which surpass the requirements set out in national gambling legislations.
EGBA Secretary General Sigrid Ligné said of the ECJ ruling: "It confirms that Member States cannot regulate the gambling market in isolation but need to take into account protection guaranteed by other Member States.
“Today's ruling once again shows that consumer protection rules for gambling are fragmented in the EU, which might be good for lawyers, but it´s certainly not in the interest of consumers. It highlights the urgency of European Commissioner Barnier´s proposal to develop a common European base of principles and measures of protection, so that all citizens are protected, wherever they are and whichever legal site they are connecting to.”
BEtfair fiscal period Q3 and FY 2015 -
The UK online gambling group Betfair plc has posted its interim management statement for fiscal period Q3 and FY 2015 ended 31 January 2015, reporting an impressive set of key performance indicators that includes:
Revel Deal Still Not Final -
Florida property developer Glenn Straub may have thought his sale agreement and payment of $82 million to the owners of the bankrupt Revel building in Atlantic City sealed the acquisition deal but on Wednesday Judge Gloria Burns refused to ratify the sale and extended the sales window by a further week.
Las Vegas Sands WIns intellectual property case -
The major US land gambling group Las Vegas Sands, owned by multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson, has successfully concluded another intellectual property case to protect its trademark and brand intellectual property.
New Jersey Senators weigh in on Restoration of the American Wire Act -
Pro-online gambling New Jersey Senators Jim Whelan and Ray Lesniak have joined the Congressional debate on the proposed Restoration of the American Wire Act, corresponding with local media leaders and urging them to publicly oppose the attempt to ban most forms of online gambling.
Bet365 facing legal action in Australia for misleading representations -
One of the industry's biggest online gambling operators, the Coates family's Bet365 group, is facing legal action Downunder from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which claims that the company's free bet or deposit bonus offers made "misleading representations" to punters in breach of Aussie consumer laws.
Mixed earnings results for Sportech -
Sports betting and pools operator Sportech, presenting its preliminary results for the twelve months ending December 31, 2014, said its focus on highly regulated markets had resulted in a strong performance from its Sportech Racing and Digital division and a satisfactory performance from its Football Pools product, however, its Sportech Venues business environment remained challenging.
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