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EU Court Ruling Blow to Italian Regulators

The European Court of Justice ruled that national online gambling market regulators must allow fair and open market access to new operators.

In a blow to Italian regulators, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that national regulators cannot discriminate against foreign EU operators wishing to enter their markets.

The ECJ said it is against EU law for national legislation to protect established operators under the banner of consumer or fraud protection. It said the unfair competitive advantage of existing operators also breaches EU laws.

The ECJ also stated that the aim of many countries expanding their online market is increased tax revenues, so they cannot justify restrictions under the guise of combating criminality and consumer protection.

Stanleybet, whose application to enter the Italian market had been turned down three times, is set to benefit from the ruling.

Its CEO, David Purvis, said the ruling was a green light to enter a fair Italian market and that this ruling must end the limitations and discrimination in the Italian licensing system.

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