The European Court of Justice has ruled against Hungary’s requirement that iGaming operators must have an offline casino.
Hungary.- The Hungarian government had wanted to set a requirement for iGaming operators in order to allow them to provide online services. This requirement was to force them to have an offline casino as well as online operations. However, the European Court of Justice has ruled that this request is a clear violation of EU law.
“Today’s judgement by the Court of Justice is very clear: no Member State can require an offline activity as a pre-requisite to provide online gambling services as this is in conflict with EU law,” said European Gaming and Betting Association secretary general Maarten Haijer, adding: “We are pleased that the CJEU has concluded this once and for all. Restrictive requirements like these, that discriminate against operators who are entitled to provide their services in a Member State, have no place in the EU. 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 EU law.”
The ruling confirms the Court’s previous ruling, which clearly established that member States are not allowed to take any enforcement action, including any form of administrative sanctions such as fines and blocking measures, against EU-licensed online gaming operators if the national legislation is in breach of EU law.