Brigitte Zammit 5.1 JURISDICTIONAL RULES IN CONTRACTUAL ONLINE GAMBLING DISPUTES In a commercial ‘global village’, where messengers on horseback have been replaced by electronic pulses generated by a few clicks of electronic keys, and where geographical distances pose no barrier to instantaneous communication between persons living on opposite sides of the world, fertile ground exists for cross-border disputes to sprout. The significantly transnational and ubiquitous nature of e-commerce, of which online gambling is an example, necessarily gives rise to conflict of laws issues,1 primarily jurisdictional issues concerned with determining the forum that is legally competent to adjudicate thereon. The legal challenges that are directly posed by online gambling to such jurisdictional issues within the EU constitute the focus of this chapter. Given this scope, primary reference shall be made to the jurisdictional rules in the Brussels Regulation on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (‘the Brussels Regulation’).2 The jurisdictional competence of EU Member State national courts is directly regulated3 in a harmonized manner by this Regulation. It is this Regulation The terms ‘private international law’ and ‘conflict of laws’ are used interchangeably in these remaining chapters of the book to refer to the area of law concerned with (1) determining jurisdictional issues in cross-border disputes, (2) determining which of the competing States’ laws in such disputes are to be applied to resolve the same, and (3) enforcing foreign judgments. 2 Council Regulation 44/2001/EC of 22 December 2000 (OJ L 12, 16...
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