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Online gaming, Lazio Regional Administrative Court suspends the forfeiture of other Community concessions

Lazio Regional Administrative Court returns to the question of the expiry of the online gaming concessions and accepts the appeals of two other concessionaires, considering the prevailing need to guarantee the continuity of the related public service, the tax interests and the occupational  and players protection.
The second section of the Lazio Regional Administrative Court, with two recent orders, accepted the appeals presented by two other concessionaires (Oia Services Ltd and E-Play 24 Ita Limited) against the Customs and Monopoly Agency in which the aforementioned applicants asked for the cancellation, after suspension of the effectiveness, of the respective expiry provisions of the concession agreement and the consequent interruption of the remote gaming wagers. In the first order, in particular, the administrative judges considered the existence of significant profiles of doubt on the interpretation followed by the defendant Agency in ordering the interruption of the collection of the game from the day following the expiry of the concession in question "in light of the provision regulation pursuant to art. 1, paragraph 935, of law no. 28 December 2015, no. 208 (the so-called "2016 Stability Law"), pursuant to which the progressive "temporal alignment, at December 31, 2022 of all concessions relating to the marketing of remote games "in place at the time of its entry into force". In the same order, then, the judges, while attesting that the law of 30 December 2020, n. 178 (State budget for the financial year 2021 and multi-year budget for the three-year period 2021-2023) published in the Official Gazette General Series no. 322 of December 30, 2020 does not provide for an express extension of the public gaming concessions in question, however they considered such an extension desirable "in the context of a broader reorganization of the public gaming sector, also in order to allow the execution of the related tenders (whose call, scheduled by December 31 2020, must take place by June 30 2021, pending the related postponement due to the ongoing health emergency), as well as to continue to guarantee adequate tax revenue, otherwise entailing the expired concessions and the loss of the related tax revenues is not renewable". For these reasons, the aforementioned appeals were accepted as a precautionary measure and the applicants were granted the possibility of "continuing, pending the definition of the merits of this judgment, in the activity of remote gaming collection managed by it by virtue of the concession in the epigraph" in order to "guarantee the continuity of the relative public service, in compliance with tax interests and occupational and players protection". The next step will be the hearing on the merits, set for October 6 2021.