10 May 2007

Portuguese court refers sports betting case to European Court of Justice

A Portuguese court, Tribunal de Pequena Instância Criminal do Porto, has referred a sport betting case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The proceeding is dealt by the ECJ as Case C-42/07.

Parties to the main proceedings are Liga Portuguesa de Futebol Profissional (CA/LPFP) and Baw International Ltd as applicants and Departamento de Jogos da Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa as defendant.

The Portuguese court referred following questions to the ECJ:

1. Does the monopoly granted to Santa Casa [da Misericórdia de Lisboa], when relied on against Baw [International Ltd], that is to say, against a provider of services established in another Member State in which it lawfully provides similar services, which has no physical establishment in Portugal, constitute an impediment to the free provision of services, in breach of the principles of freedom to provide services, freedom of establishment and the free movement of payments enshrined in Articles 49, 43 and 56 respectively of the EC Treaty?

2. Is it contrary to Community law, in particular to the abovementioned principles, for rules of domestic law such as those at issue in the main proceedings first to establish a monopoly in favour of a single body for the operation of lotteries and mutual betting and then to extend that monopoly to ‘the entire national territory, including … the internet’?

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