24.5.2008   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 128/17


Reference for a preliminary ruling from the Schleswig-Holsteinisches Verwaltungsgericht (Germany) lodged on 30 January 2008 — Carmen Media Group Ltd v Land Schleswig-Holstein and Minister for the Interior for the Land Schleswig-Holstein

(Case C-46/08)

(2008/C 128/29)

Language of the case: German

Referring court

Schleswig-Holsteinisches Verwaltungsgericht

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: Carmen Media Group Ltd

Defendants: Land Schleswig-Holstein and Minister for the Interior for the Land Schleswig-Holstein

Questions referred

1.

Is Article 49 EC to be interpreted as meaning that reliance on the freedom to provide services requires that a service provider be permitted, in accordance with the provisions of the Member State in which it is established, to provide that service there as well — in the present case, restriction of the Gibraltar gambling licence to ‘offshore bookmaking’?

2.

Is Article 49 EC to be interpreted as precluding a national monopoly on the operation of sports betting and lotteries (with more than a low potential risk of addiction), justified primarily on the grounds of combating the risk of gambling addiction, whereas other games of chance, with considerable potential risk of addiction, may be provided in that Member State by private service providers, and the different legal rules for sports betting and lotteries, on the one hand, and other games of chance, on the other, are based on the differing legislative powers of the Bund and the Länder?

If question (2) is answered in the affirmative:

3.

Is Article 49 EC to be interpreted as precluding national rules which make entitlement to the grant of a licence to operate and arrange games of chance subject to the discretion of the competent licensing authority, even where the conditions for the grant of a licence as laid down in the legislation have been fulfilled?

4.

Is Article 49 EC to be interpreted as precluding national rules prohibiting the operation and brokering of public games of chance on the internet, in particular where, at the same time, although only for a transitional period of one year, their online operation and brokering is permitted, subject to legislation protecting minors and players, for the purposes of the principle of proportionality and to enable two commercial gambling brokers who have previously operated exclusively online to switch over to those distribution channels permitted by the Staatsvertrag?