5 juil. 2011

ECJ refuses to ban monopoly in the betting on horseracing market, Zeturf, C-212/08

Contrary to the expectations of the Maltese betting on horseracing company Zeturf Ltd, the ECJ refused to declare that the French monopoly at this market (held by Pari Mutuel Urbain) is disproportional or serves the interest of excluding competitors rather than protecting the society from possible money laundering through betting or from addiction.

The French Government maintained that the monopoly is necessary to prevent too high addiction, to avoid money laundering, to comply with moral standards. Zeturf argued that the French monopoly advertises betting and, thus, increases addiction (§§ 65, 66), that this monopoly hides money laundering (§ 49). The judges decided to leave the “real reasons” (§§ 47, 62, 69) and proportionality (§§ 43, 70, 71) questions to the national courts. Obviously, this increases the national discretion for introducing this kind of monopolies.

It is remarkable that the moral standards argument did not stop the ECJ from opening the profession of notary to foreigner nationals, and from allowing regulated professions (accountants, and attorneys?) to contact potential clients with commercial proposals.

1 commentaire:

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