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News 20 Feb 2018

EU and online gambling: EL reaction to court judgment c-16/16 p

Today, the Court of Justice has issued its judgment in the Case Belgium v European Commission regarding the European Commission’s Recommendation 2014/478/EC of 14 July 2014 on principles for the protection of consumers and players of online gambling services and for the prevention of minors from gambling online.

Brussels, 20 February 2018– Today, the Court of Justice has issued its judgment in the Case Belgium v European Commission regarding the European Commission’s Recommendation 2014/478/EC of 14 July 2014 on principles for the protection of consumers and players of online gambling services and for the prevention of minors from gambling online.


In its judgment, the Court has confirmed that the Recommendation is not binding and not intended to harmonise online gambling. The Member States therefore remain competent to subject the gambling sector, including online gambling, to own, strict rules that serve the protection of consumers and in particular protect minors as well as guarantee the safeguarding of public order.


Arjan van ‘t Veer, Secretary General of the European Lotteries Association, the umbrella organisation of national lotteries operating games of chance for the public benefit, welcomes this judgment: “This judgment now leaves no doubt that EU Member Sates are not bound by the European Commission’s Recommendation and can continue their stricter national policy.”