he Advocate-General confirmed that gambling services offered over the Internet pose a very high threat to public order and consumer protection and that therefore a Member State is entitled to install a monopoly in this area.
The Member States are further allowed to demand that the company they authorise to offer these games be based in their respective jurisdiction. This company can also be a private company, as long as it is under strict control by the State.
Such a monopoly can also ‘intensively advertise’ to draw players away from unlicensed offers, as long as this does not incite players to excessive gambling.
EL President Friedrich Stickler comments: “The Advocate-General has refuted the claims of bet-at-home on all essential points and thereby inflicted a further serious defeat on commercial providers from Malta and Gibraltar“.
The founders of bet-at-home, a member of the European Gaming and Betting Association EGBA, are faced with a criminal procedure before the regional court of Linz in Austria.
A decision from the CJEU’s judges is expected in the coming months. In four out of five cases, the Court follows the recommendations from the Advocate-General.