Insights & Media


Alcina de Oliveira Alves talks about online gambling and restrictions on the European single market


“A monopoly is always learning” is the title of the latest opinion piece by Alcina de Oliveira Alves, CCA's Associate of the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Department, for IT Channel magazine on the limitations imposed by the State on the online market.

A recent Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is under analysis, which is based on a national case whereby the Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa opposes Sportingbet PLC and Internet Opportunity Entertainment Ltd, requesting, among other demands, the end of the exploration of the activity and the promotion of the Sportingbet brand, and the respective website, through a sponsorship contract concluded between the latter and the Sporting Clube de Braga.

"(...) the CJEU concluded that the rule imposing the exclusivity of the online exploitation of State social games and mutual bets on the SCML is a technical rule, which should have been communicated to the Commission beforehand. The main conclusion to be drawn from this Judgement is that the Supreme Court of Justice will not be able to decide the SCML case against Sportingbet / IOE on the basis of the rule which assigns the exclusive exploitation of mutual bets to the SCML. The Defendants will invoke the unenforceability of the rule and that, therefore, nothing would prevent them from entering into the sponsorship contract and providing the activity related to mutual betting in Portugal", states Alcina de Oliveira Alves.

According to the lawyer, "it will be interesting to see how this Judgment will affect past decisions related to the gaming activity and how the various national and international operators will react until the (possible) notification of the technical rule here in question".