The ECJ has considered whether Italian legislation regulating the organising of gaming and betting was compatible with the rights to freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services under Articles 43 and 49 of the EC Treaty, respectively. Among other things, the legislation made participation in such activity subject to the possession of a licence and police authorisation, but licences were only available by a tender process in which companies whose shares were quoted on regulated markets could not participate. The ECJ ruled that national legislation which excluded such companies was precluded because, although restrictions on the Article 43 and Article 49 freedoms could be justified in the overriding public interest, such restrictions had to be proportionate, and this blanket exclusion went beyond what was necessary. The case is interesting insofar as it provides further guidance on the circumstances in which gambling legislation that restricts the Article 43 and Article 49 freedoms may be justified. Case: Joined Cases Massimiliano Placanica, Christian Palazzese and Angelo Sorricchio, 6 March 2007.
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