Sports Betting in Romania

Gaming monopolies a case for EU law

Our client, Stanleybet, had a unique cross boarder business model. In 2008, the company launched the Fair Play For Sports Betting campaign, calling for fair access to all European markets for all EU-based sports betting operators. However, it was hampered by monopolistic Romanian gambling laws, which prevented it from bringing the full benefits of its cross border business model to the country. The challenge was to get the post-Communist Romanian sports law infrastructure in line with EU law. It required us to navigate through a static municipal framework that was entrenched and influential. We also had the added complication of articulating the narrative in an entirely new area of EU law, where the Commission’s competence was precarious.

The legal case and the political message

ag-wins-map-sportsbettingThe strategy was based on the landmark Gambelli judgement. In that court case, our Chairman had been Attorney General. His Opinion had established an important framework for determining the validity on limitations to cross border gambling. Concurrently, the strategy had to contextualize our inter-institutional communication according the Romanian sports law infrastructure. It utilized the fact that Stanleybet had based its cross border business model on the Gambelli and Placanica rulings. Essentially, we were able to demonstrate to the European Commission that Stanleybet was a model of the type of economic activity, which it had a duty to protect. The expertise of our personal and the direct involvement in this particular area of law proved to be instrumental and indispensable.

Ensuring EU law compliance

Sharp analysis, fast delivery
Konstantinos Maragkakis- Head of Communications, Stanleybet
Stanleybet now has a lucrative and successful operation in Romania, which benefits consumers. Thanks to our efforts, the EU Commission forced the Romanian state to comply with these very recent extensions to EU competence. It was ultimately by virtue of our goodwill in the field of gambling law and our ability to co-ordinate the relevant playmakers that helped defuse a politically sensitive situation and create compliance. In the broader spectrum, we once again were able to contribute to our ongoing campaign to create fair, open and ethical gambling practices throughout the EU.