The European Union and its Impact on State-Licensed Gambling Monopolies
Do gambling monopolies still focus on limiting
gambling behaviour or will they lose their status as monopolies?
MECN report based on results of a survey of leading
market players and on in-depth analysis of the activities of state-licensed monopolies.
The European Court of Justice decided at the end of
last year that the prohibition by EU states against foreign (EU-based) betting services is a restriction of
the freedom of establishment and the freedom to provide services across the EU. Now it is up to the
national courts to examine and decide whether in the various monopolies the objective of limiting gambling
has taken the backseat to a focus on turnover and profit; if this is the case, they stand to lose their
status as monopolies.
In the report “The European Union and its Impact on
State-Licensed Gambling Monopolies” MECN presents the following six arguments:
International expansion is top priority for
management of especially Austrian and British private betting operators.
For the state-run betting and lottery companies
increasing liberalisation poses a real threat to their existence.
The most recent court decisions of the European
Court of Justice and national courts tend more and more to a liberalisation of the European betting and
In the coming months detailed analyses will be
conducted to examine the legitimacy of the state monopolies.
State-authorised betting and lottery monopolies
act in some respects – but not in all – much like ordinary private businesses and thus in contradiction
to their original mandate.
In order to avoid risking a complete dissolution
of monopolistic structures the state-authorised companies will have to modify or perhaps discontinue
some products, sales channels, and/or marketing campaigns.