In Luxembourg, Wednesday reportedly saw the European Court of Justice rule against Hungary and its requirement that some online gambling operators must additionally provide a licensed land-based offering in order to supply their services to local players.
According to a report from Intergame, the European Court of Justice found that the Hungarian policy violated Article 56 of the European Union Treaty and, as such, had prohibited organizations holding a license from another European Union country from providing their services unhindered across the entire 28-nation bloc.
The case, which was known as Case C-3/17, had reportedly been brought by online gambling operator Sporting Odds with the highest court for the European Union also subsequently ordering the Hungarian court system to reconsider its policy of subjecting some online gambling verticals such as sportsbetting to a licensing system that effectively created a national monopoly.
Finally, the 28-judge body additionally reportedly decreed that Hungarian officials should refrain from imposing fines on any European Union-licensed online gambling operator that had broke the controversial provision or in any way block such firms’ future ability to offer their wares to local players.
In an official press release, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) industry group welcomed the ruling from the European Court of Justice by declaring that it means ‘no member state can require an offline activity as a pre-requisite to provide online gambling services’.
“We are pleased that the European Court of Justice has concluded this once and for all,” read a statement from Maarten Haijer, Secretary General for the EGBA. “Restrictive requirements like these that discriminate against operators who are entitled to provide their services in a member state have no place in the European Union. It is clear that, even if member states are to an extent free to regulate gambling according to their policy objectives, the overall framework is set by European Union law.”