Free trade and consumer protection: Competing interests in the regulation of Internet gambling
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Morse, Edward A.
Internet gambling services create tension between desired goals for free trade and particular national interests in the health and safety of citizens, including the enforcement of criminal laws. This essay provides a comparative analysis of the recent ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Communities in Case C-42/07, Liga Portuguesa de Futebol Profissional v. Departamento de Jogos da Santa Casa da Misericordia de Lisboa and the WTO Appellate Body decision in Antigua and Barbuda vs. United States, which both address the issue of legal sanctions affecting foreign firms seeking to offer Internet gambling services. It argues that the deferential approach toward particular national interests in Liga is particularly appropriate for services like gambling that reflect the potential for externalized social costs on local citizens and communities. Regardless of whether one embraces a model for restricting or regulating gambling, the Internet will present continuing challenges for law enforcement. Enforcement efforts focused on public flouting and commercial enterprises having jurisdictional nexus are likely to be the most that can be accomplished in light of technology constrains, particularly if the government authority chooses to respect free access to the Internet and privacy interests of its citizens.
Edward A. Morse, Free Trade and Consumer Protection: Competing Interests in the Regulation of Internet Gambling, 2010 Eur. J. Consumer L. 289.