By order of 12 June 2017, the IVth Section of the Italian State Council, at the request of the English operator Stanleybet, sent to the European Court of Justice the judgment on the legality of the competition brought by the Customs and Monopoly Agency ( ADM) for the assignment of the games of Lotto. Lottomatica is the largest Italian gaming operator. The Lotto game is, by territorial diffusion, rooting in the population, size of the collection and the value of the interests involved, the most significant Italian game product.
Stanleybet is an international operator who also offers sports betting, online casino with slot games and many other online games in Italy but does not have a license issued by the Italian state.
Many international operator have obtained the Italian license to offer gambling in Italy, one of which is Netbet, which offers a dot-it (scommesse.netbet.it) site for Italians and a dot-com (casino.netbet.co.uk) for other european community players.
Regarding the ECJ Court of Justice‘s transfer to the Consiglio Di Stato (CDS) of the rules on relying on the automated Lotto Game Service, the Customs and Monopoly Agency observes the following.
“1. The dispute does not concern and can not relate to the Lotto game concession service. This game is not a prerogative of a single operator, as has been argued, since it is actually exercised directly by the state: the margin resulting from the game represents a revenue entry that flows directly into the state budget; The Collection is entrusted to some 33,000 state-owned retail outlets, which by law can only be made up of monopoly retailers.
2. The contest to which the dispute relates is concerned only with the automated Lotto service, namely the computerized connection service of the dealers of the collection in order, among other things, the reporting of the games and the payment of winnings.
3. The Council of State has not ruled on the legitimacy of the mono-providing model of the automated service concession nor in respect of the requirements qualifying or the amount of the auction base. It has simply held that the Community questions raised by the appellant may be referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
4. Lottery play outside the authorized receivers network constitutes a criminal offense, a breach of the tax rules on withholding tax and a breach of the accounting rules on the account yield, which is the responsibility of the Court of Auditors.
5. Offering bets on Lotto numbers output is equivalent to collecting games in a parallel and illegal manner by avoiding the tax due and the accounting rules. The Customs and Monopoly Agency will follow the case at the Court of Justice, convinced that it will be able to demonstrate the absolute legitimacy of the rule that the State Council intends to submit to the analysis of the Community judicature”.
According to John Whittaker, Stanley CEO: “The story repeats itself and nobody seems to learn anything from its previous lessons. Once again, the Italian State sees its own competition in the games challenged by the judges after the 1999 CONI law, the 2006 Bersani law and the Monti law of 2012 and after the unqualified renewal of the Superenalotto concession In 2007, then canceled by the State Council. All law ‘demolished’ by court on the initiative of the Stanley Group and always in contravention of EU law. Now, even the 2015 Lotto race seems to have gone the same way. But this time we will not allow time to crystallize injustice. I have therefore instructed our lawyers to study, even in the light of the Court of Justice judgments that have already established Stanleybet’s discrimination in accessing the Italian concession system, the possible immediate remedies to this situation”.