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Copyright Giulio Coraggio 2018

 

The Italian gaming authority has issued the decree setting the terms of the call for tenders relating to the assignment of the new licenses concerning the setting up and the management of the network connecting the NewSlots (the only type of slot machines which can be placed outside of casinos) and Videolotteries.  The current licenses will expire on 30 October 2010 and the Italian gaming authority will launch by 30 April 2010 a new call for tenders for the assignment of the network licenses which will last 9 years, starting from 1 November 2010.The call for tenders will be open only to operators that have reached experience in Italy or abroad in the gaming sector managing at least 2,500 gaming terminals. However, it will be possible to participate to...

The criminal court of Rome has issued a relevant decision on the liability of hosting providers in Italy. The dispute concerned the placing on the website www.ragazzeinvendita.com of banners connecting to the website www.girlsinchat.com where it was possible to connect via chat or via phone to the girls showed on the website. The proceeding concerned, among others, the contributory liability of the website www.ragazzeinvendita.com for the crime of exploitation of the prostitution. The court held that the company managing the website www.ragazzeinvendita.com was not liable for the crime since there was no connection with the company managing the website www.girlsinchat.com and in particular because the former did not gain any profit from the activity connected the second website.This decision is quite interesting since it follows the opinion of the Advocate General of...

The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice has issued today its opinion on the Google v. Louis Vuitton case which related to the possibility to consider the use by Google, in its advertising system "AdWords" of a keyword corresponding to a third party's registered trade mark as an infringement of that trade mark. The Advocate General held that:the selection by AdWords customers of a keyword reproducing or imitating a trade mark registered by a third party and covering identical or similar goods and the displaying of ads in response to keywords reproducing or imitating registered trade marks without the trade mark owner's authorisation does not give rise to a trade mark infringement and therefore a trade mark owner cannot...

The Italian Gaming Authority has launched the call for tenders on the so called "instant lotteries". Instant lotteries include "paper scratch cards" that can now be purchased in almost any tabacco shop in Italy (even though they can be sold also abroad) and "online scratch cards" which are accessible on the websites of any licensees. Players scartching the paper or the online scratch cards can win hundreds of thousand of Euros. The call for tenders is open to all the companies which:during the period 2006-2008 have reached a turnover equal to at least € 150,000,000 in the gaming sector. However, if the company has been established less than 3 years before the call for tenders its financial soundness shall be proved also merely through declarations from at least two banks; collected...

The recent decision of the European Court of Justice (see Landmark Decision of the ECJ on European gaming monopolies) in the Bwin vs. Santa Casa dispute might have considerable side effects on the online gaming business. The court held that overriding reasons in the public interest justify limitations set forth by local gaming laws to the principle of freedom to provide services set forth in the EC Treaty.In practical terms, it means that in theory any EU Member State could implement laws requiring that gaming operators can offer their games to people located in their country only if they obtain a local gaming license. This means that if, in the worst scenario for gaming operators, this approach would be followed by all the...

In a dispute of involving a German consumer and a German online retailer, the ECJ held that, in case of exercise of the right of withdrawal prescribed by the Distance Selling Directive, suppliers can charge consumers for the use of returned goods only in case of unjust enrichment or bad faith by the latter. Ms. Messner, a German consumer, bought from Stefan Krüger, a company which operates an Internet based mail-order business, a second-hand laptop computer on the Internet. Nine months after the purchase, Ms. Messner informed Stefan Krüger that the screen of the computer was defective and, after the refusal by Stefan Krüger to repair it, decided to withdraw from the contract of sale and offered to return the laptop...

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued yesterday its decision on the dispute between the Austrian gaming operator, Bwin, and the Portuguese gaming monopolist, Santa Casa de Misericòdia de Lisboa (Santa Casa). The dispute concerns Bwin’s sponsorship of the Portuguese professional football league which Santa Casa had challenged stating that the deal is in breach of of Portugal’s advertising code that expressly prohibits the advertising of games of chance in Portugal, except for games developed by Santa Casa, and issued fines against both Bwin and the football league. Bwin and the football league brought actions before the criminal court of Oporto requiring the annulment of such fines and the court referred the dispute to the ECJ asking for clarifications on...

Italian newspapers report today the information about the potential acquisition by Bwin, the listed Austrian gambling company, of Gioco Digitale, one of the biggest Italian licensed gaming operators which has been recently active especially in the skill games sector. According to the press, Bwin will pay € 90-95m for 100% of Gioco Digitale. The negotiations have been confirmed by Bwin's management, but are still ongoing and in particular it is not clear what impact the potential acquisition will have on Gioco Digitale whose market share was lowering during the last months especially because of the entrance into the market of relevant foreign operators....

After several years of disputes, the Italian Supreme Administrative Court (the "Consiglio di Stato") has issued a preliminary ruling in favour of Stanley International ordering the reopening of Stanley's betting outlets in Italy. Indeed, since 1994 Stanley International has been running in Italy betting outlets involved in the offer of betting services in absence of an Italian gaming licence. Italian authorities had ordered the closure of such outlets for the breach of Italian gaming laws which require an Italian gaming license for each betting outlet. However, the Italian Supreme Administrive Court, making reference to the decisions of the European Court of Justice concerning the Gambelli and Placanica cases, held that, in compliance with the EU principle of freedom of services,...