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Should concerns of public interest obstruct a single market for online gambling within the EU?

Elversson, Emma LU (2012) JURM02 20112
Department of Law
Abstract
Concerns of public interest, such as the prevention of problem gambling, underage gambling and evading the risks of crime and fraud, have in the jurisprudence of the CJEU traditionally been used to justify a wide discretionary right for the Member States to regulate gambling. When online gambling was introduced, the CJEU decided to apply the same arguments and continue to affirm the strong rights of the Member States. Online gambling has however transformed the gambling market and caused new legal challenges because of its transnational nature. While cross-border gambling within the EU is protected by the fundamental freedoms, especially the free movement of services and the freedom of establishment, this protective scope have been limited... (More)
Concerns of public interest, such as the prevention of problem gambling, underage gambling and evading the risks of crime and fraud, have in the jurisprudence of the CJEU traditionally been used to justify a wide discretionary right for the Member States to regulate gambling. When online gambling was introduced, the CJEU decided to apply the same arguments and continue to affirm the strong rights of the Member States. Online gambling has however transformed the gambling market and caused new legal challenges because of its transnational nature. While cross-border gambling within the EU is protected by the fundamental freedoms, especially the free movement of services and the freedom of establishment, this protective scope have been limited because of the wide discretion given to the Member States. The question is however if the Member States are able to provide an adequate protection for the concerns of public interest associated with online gambling by regulating at national level. The Internet is borderless and new technology constantly undermines national policies. In addition to this, there has never been any scientific evidence that monopolies and national restrictions actually provide any effective protection or prevention of these concerns. The purpose of this thesis is hence to critically analyse if concerns of public interest should be adequate to justify exceptions from Articles 49 and 56 TFEU and thereby obstruct a single market for online gambling within the EU.

The first part of the thesis employs a traditional legal dogmatic method to examine EU law, case law and other legal documents from the EU. The second half and the analysis uses a law and politics perspective and considers what interests that have been taken into account and how these concerns should and could been protected. This half of the essay examines research and academic articles concerning underage gambling, problem gambling and prevention of fraud, money laundering and other crimes. After analysing these sources, the thesis concludes that it is questionable if the Member States are able to protect the concerns of public interest effectively since the risks of online gambling foremost are connected to the transnational “black market”. Instead of maintaining the current status quo and constantly referring protective national online gambling legislations to the CJEU, a better alternative would be for the Member States, the EU institutions and the online gambling operators to cooperate to create a regulatory framework. This would be the best and maybe the only way to provide a structure for online gambling that both provides an effective protection for the concerns of public interest and complies with the fundamental freedoms. In conclusion, concerns of public interest should not be adequate to justify exceptions from Articles 49 and 56 TFEU and thereby obstruct a single market for online gambling within the EU. On the contrary, a genuine concern for these interests should promote the aim of creating a single market rather than hinder it. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Sociala hänsynstaganden, som exempelvis spelberoende, minderårigas spelande samt förebyggandet av brottslighet och bedrägeri, har traditionellt motiverat Medlemsstaternas nästintill ovillkorliga rätt att reglera spel på nationell nivå. När spel på Internet introducerades valde EU-domstolen att applicera samma argument och fortsätta bekräfta denna rätt. Internetspel har dock förändrat den traditionella spelmarknaden och har gett upphov till nya rättsliga utmaningar på grund av Internets transnationella karaktär. Fastän tillhandahållandet av gränsöverskridande spel är skyddat av EU:s grundläggande friheter, särskilt av den fria rörligheten av tjänster samt etableringsfriheten, har omfånget av detta skydd begränsats på grund av den vida... (More)
Sociala hänsynstaganden, som exempelvis spelberoende, minderårigas spelande samt förebyggandet av brottslighet och bedrägeri, har traditionellt motiverat Medlemsstaternas nästintill ovillkorliga rätt att reglera spel på nationell nivå. När spel på Internet introducerades valde EU-domstolen att applicera samma argument och fortsätta bekräfta denna rätt. Internetspel har dock förändrat den traditionella spelmarknaden och har gett upphov till nya rättsliga utmaningar på grund av Internets transnationella karaktär. Fastän tillhandahållandet av gränsöverskridande spel är skyddat av EU:s grundläggande friheter, särskilt av den fria rörligheten av tjänster samt etableringsfriheten, har omfånget av detta skydd begränsats på grund av den vida rätten för Medlemsstaterna att reglera spel på nationell nivå. Frågan är dock om de sociala hänsynstaganden som motiverar denna rätt faktiskt skyddas effektivt genom att regleras på nationell nivå. Internet är gränslöst och ny teknologi underminerar ständigt nationella regleringar. Det finns därutöver inga vetenskapliga bevis på att statliga monopol och restriktioner effektivt skyddar eller förebygger de negativa konsekvenserna som förknippas med spel på Internet. Examensarbetes syfte är att kritiskt analysera om sociala hänsynstaganden borde vara tillräckligt för att motivera undantag från Artiklarna 49 och 56 TFEU och därmed förhindra en inre marknad för Internetspel inom EU.

Första delen av uppsatsen använder sig av en traditionell rättsdogmatisk metod för att undersöka EU-rätt, rättspraxis samt övriga rättsliga dokument från EU. På andra delen samt analysen appliceras ett rättspolitiskt perspektiv, denna diskuterar vilka intressen som har haft inverkan på lagstiftningen samt hur dessa bäst kan och borde skyddas. Andra delen använder sig av forskning och akademiska artiklar om spelberoende, minderårigas spelande samt brottslighet, penningtvätt och bedrägeri. Efter att dessa källor har analyserats, dras slutsatsen att det är tveksamt om Medlemsstaterna effektivt kan skydda och förebygga de negativa konsekvenserna som förknippas med Internetspel eftersom dessa främst är sammankopplade med den transnationella, svarta spelmarknaden. Istället för att upprätthålla ett status quo och ständigt hänvisa nationella spelregleringar till EU-domstolen, framhålls samarbete mellan Medlemsstaterna, EU:s institutioner samt relevanta marknadsaktörer som ett bättre alternativ. Detta är antagligen det bästa och kanske det enda tillvägagångssättet att skapa en reglering för spel på Internet som både erbjuder ett effektivt skydd för de sociala hänsynstagandena samt är i enlighet med de grundläggande friheterna. Sammanfattningsvis borde inte dessa hänsynstaganden hindra en inre marknad för Internetspel inom EU, utan snarare främja en reglering på EU-nivå. (Less)
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author
Elversson, Emma LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20112
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
EU law, online gambling
language
English
id
2301826
date added to LUP
2012-02-17 14:34:22
date last changed
2012-02-17 14:34:22
@misc{2301826,
  abstract     = {Concerns of public interest, such as the prevention of problem gambling, underage gambling and evading the risks of crime and fraud, have in the jurisprudence of the CJEU traditionally been used to justify a wide discretionary right for the Member States to regulate gambling. When online gambling was introduced, the CJEU decided to apply the same arguments and continue to affirm the strong rights of the Member States. Online gambling has however transformed the gambling market and caused new legal challenges because of its transnational nature. While cross-border gambling within the EU is protected by the fundamental freedoms, especially the free movement of services and the freedom of establishment, this protective scope have been limited because of the wide discretion given to the Member States. The question is however if the Member States are able to provide an adequate protection for the concerns of public interest associated with online gambling by regulating at national level. The Internet is borderless and new technology constantly undermines national policies. In addition to this, there has never been any scientific evidence that monopolies and national restrictions actually provide any effective protection or prevention of these concerns.  The purpose of this thesis is hence to critically analyse if concerns of public interest should be adequate to justify exceptions from Articles 49 and 56 TFEU and thereby obstruct a single market for online gambling within the EU. 

The first part of the thesis employs a traditional legal dogmatic method to examine EU law, case law and other legal documents from the EU. The second half and the analysis uses a law and politics perspective and considers what interests that have been taken into account and how these concerns should and could been protected. This half of the essay examines research and academic articles concerning underage gambling, problem gambling and prevention of fraud, money laundering and other crimes. After analysing these sources, the thesis concludes that it is questionable if the Member States are able to protect the concerns of public interest effectively since the risks of online gambling foremost are connected to the transnational “black market”. Instead of maintaining the current status quo and constantly referring protective national online gambling legislations to the CJEU, a better alternative would be for the Member States, the EU institutions and the online gambling operators to cooperate to create a regulatory framework. This would be the best and maybe the only way to provide a structure for online gambling that both provides an effective protection for the concerns of public interest and complies with the fundamental freedoms. In conclusion, concerns of public interest should not be adequate to justify exceptions from Articles 49 and 56 TFEU and thereby obstruct a single market for online gambling within the EU. On the contrary, a genuine concern for these interests should promote the aim of creating a single market rather than hinder it.},
  author       = {Elversson, Emma},
  keyword      = {EU law,online gambling},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Should concerns of public interest obstruct a single market for online gambling within the EU?},
  year         = {2012},
}