Betclic Wins Italian Gambling License Rejection Appeal


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Betclic Wins Italian Gambling License Rejection Appeal

French online gambling company Betclic Everest Group won on Thursday its appeal of the Italian gambling regulator’s decision from earlier this year not to renew the operator’s license for the provision of services in the country.

The regional administrative court of Lazio (Tar Lazio) sided with the gambling group and said in a Thursday ruling that the regulator’s decision was groundless.

After multiple delays, Italy’s gambling regulator Agenzia delle dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM) finally launched the tender process for online gambling licenses in January 2018. The authority was expected to grant the concessions by the end of that year, but missed that deadline too and eventually awarded the licenses this past February.

There were 120 available licenses, each coming with a €200,000 price tag. ADM anticipated to trouser €24 million from the application process. However, only 70 operators eventually submitted their application papers for 80 licenses, translating to €13.2 million in license fees.

Betclic was one of seven operators that had their applications rejected by the agency. The company had provided gambling services to Italian customers for years before its application to have its license renewed was rejected.

ADM awarded this past February 66 concessions and issued provisional authorization to four other applicants.

In its appeal, which Betlic filed with court earlier this month, the company said that it was not provided with explanation why ADM has decided to exclude it from the list of approved operators.

The Court’s Ruling

The Lazio regional administrative court sided with the online gambling group due to the “lack of motivation and preliminary investigation” and the lack of actual explanation why ADM has decided not to renew Betclic’s license.

Tar Lazio’s ruling went on that being active in the Italian gambling market since 2008, Betclic possessed the “general, technical, and financial” capabilities required by the local gambling regulator. The court also noted that the operator presented all the guarantees required to prove that it can meet its obligations as a licensee.

Last but not least, the court noted that Betclic fulfilled a requirement under which an applicant for a license renewal should have reached a set revenue mark over the last two financial years before filing its application.

Tar Lazio ordered ADM to reconsider Betclic’s application and pay the company’s legal expenses.

Betclic’s court win came shortly after a blanket ban on gambling advertising came into effect in Italy. The ban was approved by the Italian government last summer and partially took effect on January 1, 2019. It was fully enforced on July 14.

The ban prevents locally licensed gambling operators – both digital and retail ones – from advertising their products across any available channels. The prohibition is a first of its kind in Europe and prompted discussions in a number of other regulated markets whether more gambling ads restrictions should be introduced.

Earlier this year, the Swedish government announced that it would review its advertising rules to determine whether restrictions are necessary. Lawmakers even pointed out that a blanket ban would be under consideration.

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The post Betclic Wins Italian Gambling License Rejection Appeal appeared first on Casino News Daily.


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