Scratchcards and ECJ jurisprudence debate on the agenda for EU gambling regulators

A plethora of European regulatory bodies recently held a joint discussion to explore various gambling issues spanning across the Old Continent, including scratchcards and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice.

The UKGC travelled to Vienna to join the gambling regulators of Austria, France, Germany, Portugal, and Spain to look at different strategies on how to better protect European players.

Collectively, the regulators have released a statement – via the Spanish regulator Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego and French regulator Autorité Nationale des Jeux – making a declaration on how the issues of scratchcard regulation and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice should proceed.

In the statement, the regulators said that, regarding the ECJ’s preliminary ruling running in various countries, although the EU guarantees establishment and service-providing freedoms, the court recognises that member states “may impose proportionate restrictions on these freedoms to regulate gambling, and especially to protect gamblers through national laws”. 

However, the regulators noted that many of them “have seen more and more challenges to these principles, notably through some preliminary ruling procedures” and that they “wish to cooperate, or even intervene, in these proceedings to ensure that the court’s case law protecting players is respected”. 

Regarding scratchcard games, due to their popularity in some regions and often being shared between parents and minors, the regulators are committed to working collectively to ensure regulation is implemented effectively for “players’ protection, especially for minors that should not be introduced to gambling through this type of offer” due to the gambling risks involved.