The Gambling on Internet – A True Challenge for Fundamental Freedoms


The article focuses on the European case law on-line gambling and gambling in general. The case law is notable due to the clashes of fundamental freedoms of common market, namely freedom to provide services and freedom of establishment, and fundamental interests of member states, namely moral, religious or ethical values, protection of consumers, prevention from crime and more importantly the considerable income for state from taxation of gambling. The Court of Justice was traditionally reluctant to intervene in national legislation where the moral and ethical values were involved. However in the last decade, the court was forced to narrow possibilities to justify such restrictions to fundamental freedoms when the member states started to abuse this benevolent approach in order to disguise protectionist measures which aimed to prevent online-gambling companies from entering national markets. The article contains the analysis of C-275/92 Her Majesty's Customs and Excise v. Schindler, Case no C-124/97 Markku Johani, Case C-67/98 Zenatti, C-243/01 Piergiorgio Gambelli Joint cases C-338/04, C-359/04 and C- 360/04 Placanica and others.