National Gambling Regulation: National, International and European Constraints

  • Simon Planzer
Part of the Studies in European Economic Law and Regulation book series (SEELR, volume 1)


Unfortunately, much of the literature on European gambling issues has shown a partisan tendency with some authors advocating that courts should grant a sectorial quasi-exemption from EU law, and others arguing for a liberalisation of national gambling markets based on the supremacy of EU law. This chapter moves past this controversy and argues that national gambling laws are subject to a number of national, international and European constraints.

First, the chapter points at the relevance of the national constitutional order. National gambling regulations must regularly respect the constitutional principle of proportionality. In addition, constitutions protect fundamental rights such as the right to choose an occupation and to pursue an economic activity.

Second, the chapter shows that national gambling regulations can be affected by obligations under public international law. International trade agreements like the GATS can impact national gambling regulations, and gambling laws in Europehave to respect the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Finally, the chapter addresses the interplay of EU law and national gambling regulation. Gambling services regard the EU’s Internal Market provisions where shared competences apply. EU Member States can regulate gambling to the extent that the Union has not exercised its legislative competence. However, due to the supremacy of EU law, the national gambling laws must be in line with the Treaty obligations, in particular the EU’s fundamental freedoms. If a conflict arises, the Member State concerned must show that its conflicting laws serve a legitimate public interest objective and respect the principle of proportionality.


Pathological Gambling Online Gambling Federal Constitution Regulatory Choice Gambling Service 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Planzer
    • 1
  1. 1.Lecturer in LawUniversity of St.Gallen HSGSt.GallenSwitzerland

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