Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Gambling Law and Policy in the EU

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT European and Comparative Law

DESCRIPTION The current lack of harmonisation in gambling law and policy in the European Union has resulted in a patchwork of national rules and regulations, which differ from one country to another. Some broad categories of regulatory approaches adopted by EU Member States are identifiable: totally prohibitive, protectionist-prohibitive, completely liberal, restrictive-liberal and liberal-prohibitive. These will be discussed and analysed in this study-unit.

The various regulatory approaches adopted by the Member States will be looked into, together with an in-depth analysis of the salient Treaty provisions - in particular Article 49 TFEU relative to the freedom of establishment and Article 56 TFEU relative to the free movement of services - in tandem with in-depth consideration of the CJEU’s interpretation as delivered in select landmark judgments. Reference will also be made to Brexit and its effect on the European regulatory framework.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to familiarise the students with gambling law & policy in the EU. It aims to train students to critically analyse CJEU jurisprudence in this area. The study-unit will also be the right opportunity for the student to learn about the different regulatory approaches adopted by the Member States.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

(a) explain, interpret and analyse the relevant law of the EU within the area of gambling law and policy;
(b) demonstrate understanding of the web of political, social and economic national interests at stake;
(c) appraise different forms of regulation adopted by the Member States;
(d) interpret and analyse landmark judgments delivered by the CJEU on point;
(e) describe the relevant law in certain non-European jurisdictions, particularly the USA;
(f) explain and explore the ways in which ICT challenges the application and enforcement of law on point.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

(a) interpret and apply legal rules in the field of gambling law;
(b) elucidate and critically assess the various regulatory approaches on gambling adopted by EU Member States and certain non-European jurisdictions;
(c) review critically and reflexively formulate arguments relative to gambling law and policy;
(d) critically analyse relevant case-law;
(e) elucidate and critically assess the challenges posed by ICT to gambling law, including assessment of the efficacy of law in the digital environment;
(f) undertake independent, limited research in the field;
(g) apply interdisciplinary learning across multiple contexts, integrating knowledge and practice.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main texts

1. Niall O'Connor. 2017. An overview of European Gambling Law: Disharmony Rules OK. (Published on 2017). Available here:
2. Alan Littler & Cyrille J. C. F. Fijnaut (eds.) 2006. The Regulation of Gambling: European and National Perspectives. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. ISBN13: 9789004154599.
3. Simon Planzer. 2014. Empirical views on European Gambling law and addiction. Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-02306-9.

Supplementary readings

4. Paul M. Anderson, Ian S. Blackshaw, Robert C. R, Sieckmann, Janwillem Soek (eds.) 2011. Sports Betting: Law and Policy. T.M.C. Asser Press. ISBN 978-90-6704-799-9.
5. Salvatore Casabona. 2014. The EU’s online gambling regulatory approach and the crisis of legal modernity. Working Paper No. 19, January 2014. Available here:
6. Gerhard Meyer, Tobias Hayer and Mark Griffiths (eds.) 2009. Problem Gambling in Europe: Challenges, Preventions & Interventions. Springer-Verlag New York Inc. ISBN 978-0-387-09486-1.
7. European Commission Paper ‘Towards a Comprehensive European Framework for online gambling’ COM(2012) 596 final.


1. Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union
2. Treaty on the European Union
3. EU Directive 2015/849 of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing (4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive)
4. EU Regulation 2016/679 of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation)


Some of the pertinent case-law delivered by the CJEU relative to gaming
o Case C-168/91, Konstantinidis
o C-55/94, Gebhard
o C-205/99, Analir and Others
o C-390/99, Canal Satélite Digital
o C-439/99 Commission v Italy
o C-243/01, Gambelli and others
o C-100/01, Oteiza Olazabal
o C-8/02, Leichtle
o Case -42/02, Lindman
o C-338/04, Placanica and Others
o C-452-04, Fidium Finanz AG
o C-308/05, Centro Europa
o C-42/07, Liga Portuguesa
o C-316/07, C-358/07 to C-360/07, C-409/07 and C-410/07 Markus Stoß and Others
o C-546/07, Commission v Germany
o C-46/08, Carmen Media Group
o C-64/08, Engelmann case
o Case C-347/09, Dickinger
o C-338/09, Yellow Cabs Verkehrsbetrieb
o C-72/10, Costa and Cifone and Others
o C-390/12, Pfleger
o C-463/13, Stanley International Betting Ltd and Others
o C-336/14, Sebat Ince
o C-98/14, Berlington Hungary and Others
o C-375/14, Rosanna Laezza
o C-591/15, Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association Ltd
o C-49/16 Unibet International Ltd

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study & Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 20%
Online Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 80%

LECTURER/S Mireille-Martine Caruana
David Gonzi
Vincienne Pace

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.