Joseph Borg, Senior Advisor, has recently been asked to contribute to the World Online Gambling Law Report regarding the European Court of Justice opinion on sport betting.
Malta requested on 18 July an opinion from the European Court of Justice on the compatibility of the ‘illegal sports betting’ definition, contained within the Council of Europe’s Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, with EU law.
Illegal sports betting is defined as: ‘any sports betting activity whose type or operator is not allowed under the applicable law of the jurisdiction where the consumer is located.’ “The definition is worrying as, at best, it is a move to ban all cross border betting and at worst, it is an attempt by Member States that have or are planning to have a national licensing regime to protect their local regime,” said Dr. Joseph Borg, Senior Advisor at WH Partners.
Malta is concerned that the illegal sports betting definition, if the Convention is ratified, will interfere with the free movement of services.
“I sincerely believe this was a very bold move from the Malta government and the Lotteries and Gaming Authority,” adds Dr. Borg.“I am not saying it will be successful but I am convinced that the ECJ will not oversee the disproportionality of this definition.”