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Gambling Restrictions upon Arts. 43 and 49 EC Treaty in Finland

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Justification

  • National measure
  • Compatibility with EC law, in particular with the principle of proportionality

Public order, money laundering crime

National measure

  • Lotteries Act 23.11.2001/1047
    • Section 6: “Unless otherwise provided in this Act, a lottery may be run only with a licence granted by the licensing authority”
    • Section 7: “A licence to run a lottery may be granted to an organisation or foundation (…) if the running of the lottery is not obviously inappropriate in respect of the public interest”

Compatibility with EC law, in particular with the principle of proportionality

  • Supreme Court, 24 February 2005 (Högsta Domstolen – KKO:2005:27): PAF is a gaming company residing on the Åland Islands, an autonomous Swedish-speaking province of Finland. Based on the licence awarded by the provincial government of Åland, PAF has provided gaming services via internet since December 1999. In March 2000 PAF opened its Internet services also in Finnish language along with massive media campaign in the Finnish Mainland. Because of this, three leaders of PAF were prosecuted. The Finnish Supreme Court ruled that the actions of PAF were against the Finnish lottery legislation.
  • The Supreme Court refers to the articles 55/45 and 46 EC and to the Läära ECJ’s precedent to state that the Finnish lottery legislation is compatible with the EC Law. According to the European Court of Justice (ECJ, Läära, C 124-97), the EC Treaty provisions relating to freedom to provide services do not preclude national legislation such as the Finnish legislation which grants to a single public body exclusive rights to operate slot machines, in view of the public interest objectives which justify it.

Consumer protection

National measure

  • Lotteries Act 23.11.2001/1047, Section 11: “Licences are granted for purposes of gaming activities in order to guarantee the legal protection of those who are engaged in gaming activities, prevent abuse and criminal activity and reduce social problems created by gaming”
  • Consumers protection act 38/197893, Section 5: “No benefit based on chance shall be promised in marketing if the obtaining of such benefit presupposes consideration, the purchase of consumer goods or services or the marketing of a purchase offer”

Compatibility with EC law, in particular with the principle of proportionality

  • See Supreme Court, 24 February 2005 (Högsta Domstolen – KKO:2005:27) quoted above.

Social order, moral and cultural standardsâ

National measure

  • Lotteries Act 23.11.2001/1047, Section 11: “Licences are granted for purposes of gaming activities in order to guarantee the legal protection of those who are engage in gaming activities, prevent abuse and criminal activity and reduce social problems created by gaming”

Compatibility with EC law, in particular with the principle of proportionality

  • See Supreme Court, 24 February 2005 (Högsta Domstolen – KKO:2005:27) quoted above.

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