The European Commission of Human Rights sitting in private
on 9 May 1986, the following members being present:

                     MM.  C. A. NØRGAARD, President
                          G. SPERDUTI
                          F. ERMACORA
                          G. JÖRUNDSSON
                          G. TENEKIDES
                          S. TRECHSEL
                          B. KIERNAN
                          A. WEITZEL
                          J. C. SOYER
                          H. G. SCHERMERS
                          H. DANELIUS
                          G. BATLINER
                          H. VANDENBERGHE
                      Mrs G. H. THUNE
                      Sir Basil HALL

                      Mr. H. C. KRÜGER, Secretary to the Commission

Having regard to Art. 25 of the Convention for the Protection of Human
Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (art. 25);

Having regard to the application introduced on 8 March 1985 by
U.L. against Sweden and registered on 11 July 1985 under
file No. 11628/85;

Having regard to the report provided for in Rule 40 of the Rules of
Procedure of the Commission;

Having deliberated;

Decides as follows:


The facts of the case, as they appear from the applicant's
submissions, may be summarised as follows:

The applicant is a Swedish citizen born in 1968 and resident at Umeå.
He is a business man by profession.

The applicant has been collecting gambling machines since 1982.
Gambling machines which pay out money may, with some exceptions, only
be possessed by a person who has obtained authorisation to possess
such a machine.  The rules of possession of gambling machines are laid
down in the Lottery Act (lotterilagen).

In September 1983 the applicant obtained the authorisation of the
Government to possess a gambling machine ("enarmad bandit").  In April
1984 he obtained a further authorisation to possess a second gambling
machine ("Pajazzoautomat").

Subsequently, the applicant applied for authorisation to possess three
further gambling machines which he intended to acquire. The request
was rejected by the Lottery Council (lotterinämnden) on
14 September 1984.

The applicant appealed to the Government, which on 22 November 1984
rejected the appeal.  On the same day, the Government decided in a
separate decision to take no further measures in respect of a request
from the applicant that the Lottery Act be changed or clarified.

The applicant has thereafter requested the Government to reconsider
their decision of 22 November 1984.  This request was rejected on
31 January 1985.


The applicant complains about the fact that he has not been authorised
to acquire three further gambling machines.  He submits that this is a
violation of Art. 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1) on the ground, inter
alia, that it cannot be a "public interest" to prevent individuals
from possessing gambling machines.


The applicant has alleged a violation of Art. 1 of Protocol No. 1
(P1-1) due to the fact that he has been denied authorisation to
possess three gambling machines.

Art. 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1) reads as follows:

"Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment
of his possessions.  No one shall be deprived of his possessions
except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided
for by law and by the general principles of international law.

The preceding provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the
right of a State to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control
the use of property in accordance with the general interest or to
secure the payment of taxes or other contributions or penalties."

In substance Art. 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1) guarantees the right of
property (Eur. Court H.R., Marckx judgment of 13 June 1979, Series A
no. 31, para. 63).  It is plain from the text of Art. 1 of
Protocol No. 1 (P1-1) that it aims at securing the peaceful enjoyment
of existing possessions.  In its judgment in the case of
Van der Mussele, the Court stated that Art. 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1)
"applies only to existing possessions" (Eur. Court H.R.,
Van der Mussele judgment of 23 November 1983, Series A no. 70,
para. 48). However, in the Commission's opinion Art. 1 of
Protocol No. 1 (P1-1) does not guarantee any right to acquire property.

In the present case, the applicant asked for but was refused
authorisation to possess three gambling machines.  It is observed that
the applicant had not at that time acquired the gambling machines to
which his request for authorisation related.  The Commission considers
therefore that the present application only concerns the right to
acquire property, a right which is not covered by Art. 1 of
Protocol No. 1 (P1-1), and there is nothing to suggest that the
applicant's right to peaceful enjoyment of his possessions has in any
way been affected by the refused authorisation.

Accordingly, the applicant's complaint falls outside the scope of
Art. 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1) and the application is therefore
incompatible ratione materiae with the provisions of the Convention
within the meaning of Art. 27, para. 2 (art. 27-2).

For these reasons, the Commission


Secretary to the Commission                President of the Commission

(H. C. KRÜGER)                             (C. A. NØRGAARD)