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Gambling Restrictions upon Arts. 43 and 49 EC Treaty in LUXEMBOURG



  • National measure
    • Compatibility with EC law, in particular with the principle of proportionality

Public order, money laundering, crime

  • Section 1 of the Act of 20 April 1977 prohibits the operation of games of chance in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. All authorized game (ia casinos, charitable or public lotteries, sports betting, promotional games, contests) operates on the basis of an exemption to the ban. The operation of games is subject to terms and subject to authorization of large-ducal authorities.
    • Luxembourg law does not put the regulations of large-ducal gambling expressis verbis for the test of proportionality principle.
  • The organization of the National Lottery has given to the Grand Duchess Charlotte National Work, a public institution enjoying legal personality (Article 1 of the Decree of 13 July 1945, Mem. 1945, 392).
  • The organization of other public lotteries is subject to approval by the Minister of Justice with the assent of the Grand Duchess Charlotte National Work (Article 4 of the Decree of 13 July 1945, Mem. 1945, 392) .
    • Luxembourg Administrative Court found in its judgment of 7 May 2003 (No. 1,050,569) that a refusal to introduce new gambling is valid, referring to the opinion of the National Work of Relief of Charlotte Grandeduchesse October 29, 1997: “The first objective of the authorization of lotteries is not to raise funds for charities and philanthropic, but to channel, please, limit and control the desire of the game, which amounts to a irrational and harmful behavior. The fact that the benefits of these activities are used to the community is an important but secondary element. If the goal was to maximize profits for the community, this would undermine the primary objective of limiting supply. The supply of existing lotteries in Luxembourg enough, at present, to channel the desire of the game. We can indeed see that the level of play is high and it touches on a ceiling, as evidenced by a stagnation of the money spent in this respect in recent years. We therefore believe that the introduction of this new concept of the game is likely to further heat up the desire of the game rather than limiting and controlling it.”
  • A casino opening authorization may be granted “in the tourism interest” by government decision of the Council (Article 5 and following of the Act of 20 April 1977, Mem. 1977 548).
  • Section 3 of the Act of 20 April 1977 (Mem. 1977 548) prohibits slot machines installation outside casinos.
  • The organization of sports betting is subject to prior authorization by the Minister of Justice (Article 1 and 4 of the Act of 20 April 1977, Mem. 1977 548). The Grand Ducal Regulation of 7 September 1987 requires that the totaliser has a seat, or a representative, in the territory of the Grand Duchy (Mem., 1987, 1739).

Consumer protection

  • National measures listed above also guarantee consumer protection. As such, the Luxembourg legislature does not distinguish between the protection of consumers from the protection of other public interests
    • Ibid.

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