Italian authorities continue to apply unlawful gambling regulation despite three CJEU rulings declaring the Italian gambling regime in breach of EU Treaty.
Stanleybet, in its commitment to respect EU and national laws, lodged a complaint with the European Commission against the Italian Republic as its gambling rules persist in breaching EU law.
The Gambelli (C-243/01) and Placanica (C-338/04, C-359/04, C-360/04) rulings by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) recognize that the 1999 CONI and 2006 Bersani tenders offering sports betting licenses in Italy were not compliant with EU law while the most recent ruling, Costa-Cifone (C-72/10, C-77/10), on 16 February 2012, underlined that the Italian authorities should remedy the unlawful exclusions of those operators discriminated by the tenders mentioned above with Stanleybet being subsequently recognized as effectively the only discriminated operator.
Despite these three CJEU rulings which repeatedly declared the Italian licensing system not in line with the EU Treaty, the Italian authorities continue to perpetrate those breaches. The Decree-Law 16/12 (02 March 2012 n°16) which contains the procedural rules of the tender for the allocation of licences for 2000 new betting shops relies on the same foundations as those tenders which were found unlawful by the said CJEU jurisprudence.
David Purvis, CEO of Stanleybet, declared: “Stanleybet, as a substantial party of the Placanica, Gambelli, and Costa-Cifone cases, has always stood for the respect of EU law and we will continue our legal battles in those jurisdictions that do not comply with those principles. Our business model has been repeatedly upheld by the CJEU jurisprudence and therefore we have a legitimate right to operate in Italy. However the Italian authorities carry on those violations by continuing to apply discriminatory rules. We have asked the Italian government to end those discriminations by revoking the unlawful licences and by withdrawing this new tender. If this should not happen, key provisions of the Treaty of EU will be once again violated, this time on purpose, as the CJEU has repeatedly warned about these breaches. We hope that the Italian authorities will listen to us and will withdraw the tender, otherwise we are fully confident that the European Commission will take all the appropriate measures of enforcement against Italy”.