These are definitely hard times for Italy’s Customs and Monopolies Agency (ADM), the gambling regulator. In recent past, the Administrative Court of Lazio has published a number of rulings, all in favour of the remote gambling licensees’ appeals, challenging the ADM’s position.
The first legal battle worth mentioning is the one that confirmed an extension of remote gambling licenses until 31 December 2022.
Beginning last winter, ADM sent out disconnection notices to those remote gambling licensee sthat, directly or indirectly, obtained their licenses via the tender procedure provided by Law no.88/2009 and did not participate in the last remote gambling tender published in 2018. These disconnection notices warned of the immediate interruption of their operations due to the expiration of their licenses.
The notices were sent to more than 20 licensees. All disputed the ADM decision
before the Administrative Court of Lazio, requesting its voidance by reason of Article 1, Para. 935 Law208/2015, which provided for an extension of all remote gambling licenses to 31 December 2022,pending the new tender procedure and in order to re-align the market framework.
The Administrative Court rulings accepted all those claims and voiding the ADM notices, recognizing the realignment of the licenses’ expiration date.
In particular, according to the Court, lawmakers had provided for the realignment of all the remote gambling licenses with the extension to December 2022, so as to ensure the continuity of national tax revenue and to protect customers against illegal gambling. ADM should have taken into account the lawmakers’ position, abiding by expiration date in December 2022.
Interestingly, the Court further clarified that the law’s provision was clear enough and compliant with constitutional principles, rendering it unnecessary to escalate the case to the Constitutional Court.
The second legal battle worthy of notice is the one that confirmed licensees’ claims that voided —for the second time — another ADM notice on additional taxation and calculation criteria for betting exchange.