The Regional Administrative Court for Lazio agrees with Sisal and suspends the mandatory payment of 1.82% of the premium for advertising and promotional interventions as per for Article 9 of the Dignity Decree
The Second Section of the Regional Administrative Court for Lazio accepted - by order - the appeal lodged by Sisal against the Customs and Monopolies Agency and suspended as a precautionary measure the request by the same Agency to pay to the Treasury 24,3 million euros, a sum that the concessionaire should have invested in advertising campaigns for SuperEnalotto and other number games. As is known, the so-called Dignity Decree (Law Decree 12 July 2018, n.87 converted by Law 9 August 2018 no.96 published in the Official Gazette of 13 July 2018) has prohibited any form of advertising of the game and art. 9 provided that a portion of the fee paid to the Concessionaire, equal to 1.82% of the total amounts of the bets collected through the distribution network, was intended for "advertising and promotional" interventions. Therefore, the problem has arisen of identifying the owner of these "saved" sums, ie whether they remain with the concessionaire or must be paid to the State. Sisal, in the appeal in question, requested cancellation after suspending the effectiveness of the note from the Customs Agency prot. n. 468942 / RU of 18 December 2020 and the ascertainment of the supervening impossibility of the service provided for by the aforementioned art. 15, paragraphs 2 and 3, of the concession agreement signed on 26 June 2009, in the part in which it imposed on the licensee the obligation to spend this percentage of the premium on "advertising and promotional" interventions with the consequent extinction, pursuant to 1256 of the Italian Civil Code, of the portion of the obligation which has become impossible. The administrative judges, with the ruling in question, considered it appropriate to order the suspension of the contested acts and, therefore, the consequent obligation to pay the aforementioned sum to the State, in consideration of the fact that the execution of the contested acts "derives for the an immanent and serious prejudice "and that, pending the resolution of the judgment," the applicant's interest in not paying the aforementioned sum appears worthy of protection with respect to the opposite interest in collection claimed by the proceeding administration ". Moreover, the same judges, to safeguard the administration's position, subordinated the granting of the aforementioned precautionary measure to the provision by the concessionaire of a special "first-demand bank guarantee issued by a primary banking institution in favor of the administration," valid until the settlement of the case, concerning the guarantee of payment of an amount equal to the sum brought by the measures encumbered with today's appeal, to be submitted to the administration within twenty days from the communication of this provision under penalty of forfeiture , retroactively, of the precautionary measure ordered ". The next step is on November 17, 2021, when the Lazio Regional Administrative Court will have to decide this question on the merits.