European Court Ruling Welcomed By Online Gaming In Europe
14 March 2007
It looks like things are looking up in some parts of the online gambling world; particularly in Europe! The European Court of Justice, Europe’s highest court, ruled that Italy can’t stop bookmakers from other countries from operating in that country. Italy was using their legal system to protect their own state run gambling model and keep it as a monopoly. They aren’t the only ones that were trying to do that either. Both France and Germany have national gambling monopolies and have threatened online gaming operators with criminal prosecution (with a few decades of jail time) to keep their state run gambling monopolies safe. So when the court ruled against Italy, it basically opened the doors for cross border trade. This is a huge victory for the online gaming public in Europe. People in the US don’t need to give up either… the little island of Antigua is fighting the US stance on online gambling too and the rulings so far by the World Trade Organization supports Antigua’s claims. It doesn’t mean the US will abide by their decision, we’ll have to wait and see for that, but all in all, it’s a very small ray of light shining just a little brighter with this ruling from the ECJ.