Recently, MEP David Casa from Malta put a question to the European Parliament on remote gaming licensing and its compatibility with the fundamental freedoms.   The question in particular was:

In a particular national gambling law that has been notified to the Commission it is being suggested that a remote gaming licence may only be provided to operators that have a land-based presence or intend to do so within a particular time-frame following the obtaining of such licence. Can the Commission comment on the compatibility of this provision with the fundamental freedoms?

Subsequently, Ms Elżbieta Bieńkowska, gave an answer on behalf of the Commission as follows:

Without prejudice to a specific assessment of any particular notified draft law, the Commission has concerns about the compatibility of national provisions subjecting the provision of online gambling services to establishing a physical presence in the recipient Member State and has been pursuing investigations into similar provisions to that described by the Honourable Member. According to well-developed case-law of the Court of Justice of the EU, Member States may restrict the provision of gambling services within their territory. However, the restrictions must be compatible with the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. In particular, they must be non-discriminatory with respect to nationality and justified by overriding reasons in the public interest.



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