November 28, 2008

Stanleybet Files Formal Complaint Against Italy with EC

Stanleybet International has filed a formal complaint with the European Commission denouncing a number of legislative, administrative and judicial measures by the Italian State following the recent new concession re-awarded to Sisal SpA for the Superenalotto prize game, the richest and most popular of all gaming products offered in Italy.

Stanleybet's complaint relates to the concession being awarded under a tender which excluded operators other than the three main Italian lottery and betting operators, Lottomatica, Sisal and Snai.

According to Stanleybet every gaming operator was confronted with terms of tender to which no reasonable entrepreneur could choose to commit to, other than the three main Italian operators.

Considering the terms of the tender, in respect of historic gaming turnover, size and type of network and financial guarantees to be provided, Stanleybet said it was not a surprise that potential applicants considered the tender as “pre-awarded”, and therefore no operator or any other major lottery applied to run one of the largest lotteries in the world.

Stanleybet said that after more than four years of litigation, the company's applications to have access to the management and distribution of the Superenalotto game have been completely frustrated by the Italian authorities.

By contrast, Sisal SpA, who secured the exclusive Superenalotto concession without any public tender in 1996 until 2001, was re-awarded the concession in 2008, through a tender from which Stanleybet International was barred. The concession will expire in 2017.

John Whittaker, Managing Director of Stanleybet International, said: “The Italian authorities have once again demonstrated a total disregard for EU law in relation to competition and public procurement rules. We will continue to defend our legally enshrined rights to offer our services and to denounce unjustified restrictions to those rights wherever they occur.

"Despite all its claims, Italy is still a long way away from being compliant with the EU Treaty. It should remedy the situation immediately. We call upon the European Commission to investigate the complaint speedily and to do all it can to resolve this inequity.”

Earlier this month Stanleybet International launched The Fair Play for Sports Betting campaign calling for a fair, open and equal access to European markets for all EU-based sports betting operators.

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