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0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px ‘Times New Roman’; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000}span.s1 {font-kerning: none}The importance for harmonisation of European Union i-gaming laws has been longed for for several years. However, due the various affairs of member states, EU Member States have not yet been able to reach an agreement on the harmonisation of gaming law in order to themselves be able to nationally regulate i-gaming in conformity with EU law. Each member state is allowed to regulate i-gaming as it deems appropriate due to the subsidiarity principle. Most of the states, including Malta, have taken an open-market approach on EU i-gaming regulation and have held that i-gaming is a service in terms of the EU Treaty.

 Member States joining the Union agree to provide for the free movement of goods and services across EU Member State borders, but ECJ rules that a Member State can restrict the cross-border provision of gambling services into its own country. Gambling is one of the unique areas where Internal Market rules are put into question. Since I-gaming is a borderless activity, not being tied to any particular territory or jurisdiction, this gives rise to difficulties in establishing which jurisdiction should regulate such activity.Due to the fact that i-gaming is an international concept, taking a national approach is ineffective and the laws governing it should also be international. If such law is absent, gamblers within the European Union shift their business, operating from non-member states. As a consequence, proceeds drift out of the union to jurisdictions where gambling could be unjust, without any control on criminal infiltration and no regard for the well being of the consumers. Because of this, the best option is to give gamblers various thorough regulated possibilities within Europe. Even if there is still no common law on EU i-gaming, the internal market freedoms set out in the EU Treaty are directly effective, granting access to the national markets.

 Gambling services are covered by EC Treaty under the freedom to provide services Article 49 and the third Anti-Money Laundering Directive (2005/60/EC), but there is no secondary legislation. Two models of national regulations are applied in gambling: one based on licensed operators working in a regulated framework, and another on controlled monopoly, both coexisting within the Internal Market due to restricted chance of selling gambling services across borders in the past.National regulation mustn’t be discriminatory and Member States are not to adopt any regulatory procedures that disadvantage operators licensed in another EU member state. Discrimination on the basis of nationality could be of various forms, such as laws excluding operators from gambling national market because their shares are quoted in the stock market to the contrasting tax treatment for oversea lotteries in respect to the national ones. Whether or not such a law is regarded as discriminatory, the ECJ still demands a proportionality analysis.

The Advocate General on ‘Gambelli’ confirmed that legislation has to be justified by requirements in the general interest; must be acceptable for securing achievement of the objective which they pursue; and they must not go beyond what is required in order to attain it. Moreover, national restrictions on online gambling which don’t contribute to restraining betting activities in a continuous and structured manner are incompatible with the freedom of establishment and with freedom to provide service. In’Winner Wetten GmbH’, public monopoly on bets on sporting competitions in the Westfalen was regarded as opposing to freedom to provide services established by Article 49 EC. A restrictive measure such as monopoly cannot be justified by reference to the supposed aim of preventing encouragement of unrestrained spending on gambling, as it’s uncontested that participation in bets in sporting competitions is endorsed by the national authorities organising these bets and therefore, this measure does not contribute to limiting betting activities in a continuous and structured manner.

Finally, either the ‘open’ licenses systems in which every operator, as long as one fulfils the requirements provided by the relevant national law, has the right of access to the national gambling market, or the ‘closed’ licenses system in which only one of the few licenses provided have to be ruled by the principle of transparency. This implies that potential tenderers have the right to know in advance and in a precise, clear and unequivocal way the relevant information regarding all conditions and procedural rules. As a result, the ECJ held illegitimate the decision of Italian Government to renew existing licenses without inviting competing bids on the basis that it is not granted for the benefit of any potential tenderer, a degree of advertising sufficient to enable the service concession to be opened up to competition and the impartiality of procurement procedures to be reviewed. In the beginning, local authoritative bodies tried to impose limitation on i-gaming activities involving their nationals to safeguard state monopolies.

Case law provided by the European Court of Justice has made efforts to bring down these local limitations hampering the fundamental principle of free movement of services. Due to the fact that harmonised decision has not been reached regarding the EU i-gaming regulations, the European Court of Justice has delivered various jurisprudence upon the conformity with European law of domestic laws in the area of EU i-gaming activities, allowing restrictions on the ground of public interest. In Zenatti, ECJ sent the case back to a national court of Italy to confirm whether the restricted issuing of gambling licences was truly aimed at achieving social and consumer protection goals, or whether gambling had been legalised to collect money for the government. The European i-gaming panorama has been evolving regulations regarding i-gaming in several member states based upon the country of destination principle as contrary to the country of origin principle. Whilst member states like Malta opt for the latter, stipulating a regulation for operators relying on place of establishment of operators themselves, the country of destination principle is obtaining popularity in countries’ legal system including France and Spain.

These member states endorse the