The CJEU (Court of Justice of the European Union) has preliminarily ruled against Italy for blocking gambling websites from other EU countries.
iGaming Business has reported that despite the legalization of online poker in Italy in 2011, it has blocked various externally run websites who provide gaming to Italian players.
It is believed that the reason for this action has to do with Italy’s attempt to safeguard the 2.7 billion USD that are brought to the state and to other partners through gaming, however, in accordance with the CJEU’s ruling, this restriction of gambling markets in favour of economic self-interest goes against EU law.
To quote the court: “Articles 43 EC and 49 EC must be interpreted as meaning that, under the current state of EU law, the fact that an operator holds, in the Member State in which it is established, an authorisation permitting it to offer betting and gaming does not prevent another Member State, while complying with the requirements of EU law, from making such a provider offering such services to consumers in its territory subject to the holding of an authorisation issued by its own authorities.
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“Articles 43 EC and 49 EC must be interpreted as not precluding national legislation which requires companies wishing to pursue activities linked to gaming and betting to obtain a police authorisation in addition to a licence issued by the State in order to pursue such activities and which restricts the grant of such authorisation inter alia to applicants who already hold such a licence.”
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