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EU rules against Italy horse betting license renewal

14 September 2007

ITALY -- As reported by Reuters: "Italy was wrong to renew 329 horse race betting licences without a public tender, the European Union's top court ruled on Thursday.

"The ruling will be seen as a modest victory for the privately owned betting industry as it seeks to compete more freely across the EU.

"The Italian government decided in 1999 to increase the number of betting centres in Italy from 329 to 1,000, with only the new concessions put out to tender with the existing ones renewed for six years. The European Court of Justice said in a statement that 'by renewing 329 licences for horse race betting operations without inviting any competing bids, the Italian Republic failed to fulfil its obligations'..."

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