Restrictions on access to gaming rooms in casinos
Games of chance
Enterprises that hold concessions
Right of entry to casinos
Employee access to gaming rooms
RULING Nº 436/2000
17 of October of 2000
Gambling is authorised only in establishments specially intended for it - casinos - in specific premises run solely by private entities licensed by the state.
Regulation of access to gambling areas is dictated by ethical, social and financial considerations. It stems from a choice between an absolute ban on gambling on the one hand and, on the other hand, legalisation subject to rigorous regulation so as to ensure that gambling is conducted with probity and that there is some benefit to the public sector. A deliberate effort was therefore made to lay down rules for the protection of interests, which is the reason for prohibiting access by a limited group of employees, namely those who have a professional relationship with the premises in question.
The general freedom of action which the right to express one's personality entails prevents the law from controlling the "private space" in which each individual is his or her own person, and which is the core of the private organisation of his or her life, although not incompatible with restrictions. However, such restrictions, as well as having to respect the principle of proportionality - thereby defending freedom of action against the substantive principles that seek to limit it - must also be appropriate and necessary and must not become distanced from the objective pursued.
A group of members of parliament requested the Constitutional Court to declare unconstitutional - with general binding force - a series of provisions of the Law on Gambling, particularly those concerning employees who work in gaming rooms. Some provisions limit employees' access to gaming rooms when they are not on duty and another obliges them to be well presented and to wear the uniform approved by the company holding the licence. The uniform may not have any pockets, except for a small pocket sewn on to the outside.
The court's opinion, firstly, is that the statutory restriction on access to gaming rooms does not constitute discrimination, since the measure, far from being unreasonable, can be interpreted either in terms of the guarantee of transparency in gambling, or from the point of view of the professionalism of gaming room employees; and, secondly, that the compulsory work uniform does not conflict with personal autonomy and the freedom to express one's personality, as personal rights recognised under Article 26 of the Constitution. The type of uniform is a requirement or restriction imposed on all casino gaming room employees without discrimination and ensures that there can be no reasonable doubt as to their honesty; on the contrary, it is a means of preventing, eliminating or mitigating in advance any suspicions that might arise. In this way, their honesty, good name and reputation are preserved.
The court therefore took a unanimous and generally binding decision not to declare the rules in question unconstitutional.