04 May 2008

European Court of Justice decides on casino monopoly

Referring court
Landesgericht Linz

Party to the main proceedings
Ernst Engelmann

Questions referred:

Is Article 43 EC (Treaty establishing the European Community, in the version of 2 October 1997, most recently amended by the Treaty of 25 April 2005 concerning the accession of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania to the European Union (OJ 2005 L 157, p. 11)) to be interpreted as precluding a provision which provides that only public limited companies established in the territory of a particular Member State may there operate games of chance in casinos, thereby necessitating the establishment or acquisition of a company limited by shares in that Member State?

Are Articles 43 EC and 49 EC to be interpreted as precluding a national monopoly on certain types of gaming, such as games of chance in casinos, if there is no consistent and systematic policy whatsoever in the Member State concerned to limit gaming, inasmuch as national licensed organisers encourage participation in gaming - such as public sports betting and lotteries - and advertise such gaming (on television and in newspapers and magazines) in a manner which goes as far as offering a cash payment for a lottery ticket shortly before the lottery draw is made ('TOI TOI TOI - Believe in luck!')?

Are Articles 43 EC and 49 EC to be interpreted as precluding a provision under which all licences granting the right to operate games of chance and casinos are issued for a period of 15 years on the basis of a scheme under which Community competitors (not belonging to that Member State) are excluded from the tendering procedure?

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