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CJEU Case C-322/16 / Opinion

Global Starnet Ltd v Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze and Amministrazione Autonoma Monopoli di Stato. Request for a preliminary ruling from the Consiglio di Stato.

Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Advocate General
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:

In the light of the foregoing, I propose that the Court answer the questions referred for a preliminary ruling by the Consiglio di Stato (Council of State, Italy) as follows:

  • the fact that a constitutional court of a Member State has declared a national measure compatible with the constitution has no bearing on the obligation, imposed on national courts of last instance under Article 267 TFEU, to refer a question concerning the interpretation of EU law to the Court, even if the national rules forming the basis of the constitutional court’s assessment are similar to the relevant EU rules;
  • on a proper construction, Articles 49, 56 and 63 TFEU, Article 16 of the Charter, and the general principle of the protection of legitimate expectations, do not preclude national legislation, such as that at issue, which lays down certain new financial, technical and professional requirements applicable to both existing and new holders of concessions in the field of gaming services.