Joined Cases C‑344/13 and C‑367/13
Pier Paolo Fabretti
Agenzia delle Entrate — Direzione Provinciale I di Roma — Ufficio Controlli
(Requests for a preliminary ruling from
the commissione tributaria provinciale di Roma)
(Reference for a preliminary ruling — Freedom to provide services — Restrictions — Tax legislation — Income from winnings from games of chance — Difference in taxation between winnings obtained abroad and those from national casinos)
Summary — Judgment of the Court (Third Chamber), 22 October 2014
Freedom to provide services — Restrictions — Betting and gaming — National legislation establishing a difference in taxation between income from those games obtained abroad and those from national casinos — Not permissible — No justification
(Arts 52 TFEU and 56 TFEU)
Articles 52 and 56 TFEU must be interpreted as precluding legislation of a Member State which subjects winnings from games of chance obtained in casinos in other Member States to income tax and exempts similar income from that tax if it is obtained from casinos in its national territory.
Manifestly discriminatory, such legislation can be justified only insofar as it pursues objectives corresponding to the grounds of public policy, public security or public health within the meaning of Article 52 TFEU and where the restrictions which it contains satisfy the conditions of proportionality. That is however not the case of that legislation since, as regards, first, the objectives relating to the prevention of money laundering and the need to limit the flow of capital abroad or the arrival, in the Member State concerned, of capital whose origin is uncertain, it is not justifiable for the authorities of that Member State to assume, in a general way and without distinction, that bodies and entities established in another Member State are engaging in criminal activity. As regards, second, action against compulsive gambling, which falls within the protection of public health, the legislation at issue is not a suitable and coherent means of ensuring the attainment of the objective of combatting compulsive gambling, the exemption of winnings from casinos situated on the territory of the Member State concerned being likely to encourage consumers to participate in games of chance which allow them to benefit from such an exemption.
(see paras 32, 33, 39, 41, 44, 46-48, operative part)