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Gambling Monopoly Can Continue In Portugal, According To EU

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In Portugal, the country's soccer league believed that the government was allowing a gambling monopoly to run illegally. They brought their case to the European Union's highest court in the hopes that they would expose the Portugal government.

On Tuesday, the European Court of Justice ruled against the soccer league. In their ruling, they claimed that the Portuguese government may be correct in allowing the gambling monopoly, which is run by the Direccao de Departmento de Jogos da Santa Casa de Misericordia de Lisboa, If it protects the residents of the country.

"The prohibition which Portuguese legislation imposes on operators such as Bwin of offering games of chance via the Internet may be regarded as compatible with the freedom to provide services," said the court in its ruling, as reported in The Wall Street Journal.

The battle between the soccer league and the charity gambling operator began when the league signed a sponsorship deal with the parent company of Bwin. They began to advertise Bwin's Internet betting site, and consequently started to receive fines for infringing on the gambling monoploy.

The soccer league fought the fines in Portuguese court, but the court asked the EU high court to give their interpretation of whether or not the law in Portugal violated any EU laws. That ruling came down in favor of the gambling monopoly on Tuesday.

Bwin has been expanding their global reach in the past few months much like other Internet gaming operators.Their most recent move was to buy a company that was operating in the Italian market. In the Fall, Italy is liberalizing their Internet gambling laws, and Bwin is preparing for those changes.

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