Ensuring gaming freedom across Europe
Our client, a Lottery Association, was faced with a network of monopolistic EU Member State laws and regulations that impeded the ability of its members – all private lottery operators – to exercise EU market freedoms. Alber & Geiger was enlisted for its flagship expertise to steer the developing legal framework in the field of gambling law and tear down restrictions of private lotteries in Europe. It was a high caliber mandate that required a distinct type of political lobbying, that our firm was uniquely positioned to handle. The challenge was to politically link the freedom of establishment with cross border lotteries based on the CJEU’s decisions on gambling freedom.
Court rulings and opinions in a political lobbying effort
The strategy was built upon the respected Opinion of our Chairman on the Gambelli case when he was a Advocate General at the CJEU. The Opinion was used as a roadmap for judicial and legislative change during this seminal mandate. It articulated the narrow circumstances where a restriction on freedom of establishment would be justifiable by general interest concerns. The strategy was structured on all levels according to the integral components of the Opinion. It utilized the intellectual resources of our firm to co-ordinate the legislative dialogue in a direction that facilitated the creation of a EU wide free gambling market. We provided components of the machinery as well as oiling the cogs of law reform.
Providing lasting solutions for cross border gambling market
The consequences of our efforts have been considerable and far reaching. Recent judgments of the CJEU with respect to German and Austrian gambling restrictions have due to the ongoing successful execution of our strategy, been echoing the Opinion. The CJEU now professes that in order to justify monopolistic state gambling regulations legislation must “ensure a particularly high level of protection” and a “coherent” gambling market. There must now be specific and narrow circumstances to legitimize curtailments to the freedom of establishment in the gambling market. This CJEU strategy must now be followed by the European Commission when checking EU Member States’ gambling restrictions. Essentially we provided long term, fixed judicial capital for our client and legislative change. This is creating exponential gains both for our client and the fledgling cross border gambling market.