AAMS Levels 4 Billion-Euro Fine against Lottomatica

27 July 2007

The Amministrazione Automona dei Monopoli di Stato (AAMS), Italy's state gambling monopoly, is reportedly requesting a four billion-euro fine from Lottomatica over allegations that Lottomatica-subsidiary Videolot Rete was in breach of its obligations to AAMS.

In a prepared statement, however, Lottomatica said that the Lazio regional administrative court had suspended the penalty.

"Given the huge amount of the penalty, the suspension was almost obvious," Ernesto Apa, a lawyer with Italian law firm Portoloano Colella Cavallo, told IGN.

Apa said that under Italian law, regional administrative courts can suspend requests from public authorities like AAMS when, first, the request is "deemed [by the court] to be grounded," and second, when a public authority's request may mean significant damage for a private entity--financial or otherwise.

The company said that it is "firmly convinced" that its Videolot arm has fully complied with its obligations to AAMS.

Lottomatica also said it believes its finances will not be negatively impacted by the investigation.

According to Apa, the resolution of the case could " . . . take some years."

Rob van der Gaast has a background in sports journalism. He worked for over seven years as the head of sports for Dutch National Radio and has developed new concepts for the TV and the gambling industry. Now he operates from Istanbul as an independent gambling research analyst. He specializes in European gambling matters and in privatizations of gambling operators. Rob has contributed to IGN since Jul 09, 2001.