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CJEU Case C-322/16 / Judgment

Global Starnet Ltd v Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze and Amministrazione Autonoma Monopoli di Stato

Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Court (First Chamber)
Decision date:

Key facts of the case:

Reference for a preliminary ruling — Freedom to provide services, freedom of establishment, free movement of capital and freedom to conduct a business — Restrictions — Award of new licences for the online operation of gaming — Principles of legal certainty and protection of legitimate expectations — Judgment of the Constitutional Court — Whether or not the national court is obliged to refer a question to the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling.

Outcome of the case:

On those grounds, the Court (First Chamber) hereby rules:

  1. Article 267(3) TFEU must be interpreted as meaning that a national court against whose decisions there is no judicial remedy is required, in principle, to refer a question for a preliminary ruling concerning the interpretation of EU law even if, in the course of the same national proceedings, the constitutional court of the Member State concerned has assessed the constitutionality of national rules in the light of regulatory parameters with content similar to rules under EU law.
  2. Articles 49 and 56 TFEU and the principle of protection of legitimate expectations must be interpreted as not precluding national legislation such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which imposes on persons who are already concession holders in the sector of the online operation of legal gaming, new conditions for the exercise of their activity by means of an addendum to the existing agreement, inasmuch as the referring court considers that that legislation may be justified by overriding reasons relating to the general interest, is suitable for ensuring the attainment of the objectives pursued, and does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives.