The Italian lotto gaming tender has finally got the approval from the Administrative Supreme Court and the process might be speeded up in the next months. 

What had happened?

The tendering process for the award of the Lotto gaming license was meant to be the most relevant event in the Italian gaming market in 2015 given its initial bidding price of € 700 million. However, the tendering rules as drafted by the Ministry of Finance had to deal with the negative opinion of the Administrative Supreme Court (the Consiglio di Stato).

The new opinion of the Administrative Supreme Court

The Administrative Supreme Court has now issued a new opinion on the Lotto tender which still raises some issues since the Ministry of Finance did not implement all the changes requested by the court, but gave its approval to proceed with the tendering process for the award of the Lotto gaming license.

The new version of the tendering rules is not publicly available, but based on the comments from the court the most relevant changes for applying entities is that the financial soundness criteria to be met by the applying entities have now been reduced by 30%. This amendment shall allow a larger number of companies to bid for the license.

At the same time, the criteria for the award of the Lotto gaming license and the technical obligations have now been included in the tendering rules which should ensure a higher level of transparency on the rules under which the license will be awarded and the applicable technical obligations.

What will happen now to the tendering process for the Lotto gaming license?

There are no further obstacles to the lotto tendering process now. The question is how long the gaming regulator needs to put in place the tendering process. If all the relevant documentation is ready to be published, the launch of the tendering process might be quite imminent. However, given the recent and potentially future M&A transactions in the Italian gaming market, some operators might be willing to further delay it.