Online Gambling Issue Reignited in the EU

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According to the statement of the Advocate General Yves Bot at the European Court of Justice, the decision to ban foreign online gambling operators (that included online bingo and other casinos) from Portugal would have been legal if it met the consumer protection and public interest.

Moreover, he added that a monopoly could be accepted if its aim was consumer protection and help of maintenance of public law and order. They are not to be accepted if they are money making machines.

The European Union policy that allows free movement of services and goods between EU States has been cited in endless legal battled against gambling monopolies.

This case was caused at the ECJ when Bwin and the Portuguese football league were fined by a Portugal court fro offering 'mutual betting by electronic means.' After the companies were fined, the ECJ's guidance was asked by the court.

This case is indeed the first one in which the legalities of a EU member state in extending the State monopoly on gambling online are considered. The results and impacts of this could be massive, affecting online bingo, poker and other casinos and sportsbooks companies all over the European Union.