Les Jeux Sont Faits? Mutual Recognition and the Specificities of Online Gambling

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Series Details Vol.37, No.2, April 2012, p191-203
Publication Date April 2012
ISSN 0307-5400
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Online and land-based gambling activities merely constitute alternative marketing channels of the same unique market of gaming services. However, the particularities of online gambling are to be taken into account when assessing the scope of the restrictions imposed by national gaming laws and their suitability to pursue the legitimate objectives of consumer protection and public order maintenance.

This is in essence the core of the recent preliminary rulings in Zeturf and Dickinger, on the legality of national legislation regulating the provision of horseracing betting services and the operation of internet casino games respectively.

The rulings actually complement and interpret the earlier judicial pronouncements in Kulpa and Carmen Media, reconciling them with the more sectoral approach originally adopted in Schindler. At the same time, they confirm in the most categorical terms that online gaming services are automatically excluded from the application of the mutual recognition principle irrespective of the measure of monitoring and control to which they are already subject in the Member State where their operator is established.

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