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Legal EU Court
News 20 Dec 2018

EU Court again pronounces clear ruling on lottery regulation

Ruling in the Italian ‘Stanleybet’ case: Exclusive concessionaire model for the management of a lottery is compatible with EU Treaty, multiple operators would increase risk for gambling addiction.

Brussels/Luxembourg, 19 December 2018 – Today the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered its judgment in the C-375/17 Stanley International Betting and Stanleybet Malta case.

The Court ruled that an exclusive concessionaire model for the management of a lottery game is in line with the EU law, under which there is no harmonisation in the field of games of chance.

Arjan van ‘t Veer, Secretary General of the European Lotteries and Toto Association (EL), comments: “The CJEU has clearly recognised that an exclusive concessionaire model, as chosen by the Italian legislator, is legitimate in order to promote responsible management of the lottery . The judgment points to the particularities of our sector where restrictions can be put in place in the general interest and which must be kept free from companies that have been referred to a criminal court. EL welcomes the confirmation in this ruling.”

The CJEU further confirmed that a high basic contract value for such a concession is acceptable and stated that severe conditions to access the market can be imposed. Notably, a company can be excluded if it has been referred to criminal court for a related matter. The ruling further confirms that other games similar to lotto without the specific authorisation can be prohibited as a means to fight illegal gambling, which is a legitimate policy objective.