The Regional Administrative Court of Lazio accepts the appeal of another operator in the online gaming sector and suspends the forfeiture of the Community concession
Another momentary victory for online gaming dealers. The second section of the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio, with an order filed on the last April 12, accepted the appeal of another concessionaire (Baldo Line srl), which requested the cancellation, after suspension of the effectiveness, of the provision of the Agency of Customs and Monopolies for the expiry of the concession agreement and consequent interruption of the remote gaming wagers. The administrative judges, in fact, considered that the conditions of extreme gravity and urgency required by article 56 first paragraph of the administrative process code "given the objective and immediate damage to the contested provision" and have decided, in order to remedy the alleged prejudices, to postpone the execution of the same provision "for the sole purpose of continuing the activity game collection managed by the instant party". Basically, as in other recent similar rulings, also in this case significant profiles of doubt were considered to exist on the interpretation followed by the respondent Agency in ordering the interruption of the gaming collection from the day following the expiry of the concession in question in the light of the regulatory provision pursuant to art. 1, paragraph 935, of law no. 28 December 2015, n. 208 (so-called “2016 Stability Law”), pursuant to which the progressive temporal alignment, as at 31 December 2022, is envisaged of all concessions relating to the marketing of remote games in place at the time of its entry into force. Moreover, if it is true 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) does not provide for an express extension of the public gaming concessions in question, however it has been repeatedly advocated by the administrative judges in the context of a broader reorganization of the public gaming sector, also in order to allow the execution of the related tenders whose calling, initially scheduled by 31 December 2020, must take place by 30 June 2021 given the postponement due to the ongoing health emergency, as well as in order to continue to guarantee adequate tax revenue to the State, as the expired and non-renewable concessions would result in the loss of the related tax revenues. Therefore, also in this case, the acceptance of the appeal as a precautionary measure will allow the concessionaire to continue, pending the definition of the merits, in the collection of remote gaming based on the aforementioned concession, so as to "guarantee the continuity of the relative public service, in compliance with the tax authorities, the occupational protection and that of the players". The next step for the collegial discussion of the issue is scheduled for the next 12th of May.