The Italian government has lost a lengthy European Court of Justice case on horseracing concessions which compels it to launch a public tender in respect of 329 licenses by the end of 2008.
 
Agipronews reports that the ECJ ruled against the state's renewal of 2000 to 2005 licenses because these had not been offered for public tender. Worth up to $1.86 billion in bets last year, the licenses cover some 59 percent of the overall horserace betting market and are currently held by Snai SpA and Sisal.
 
In January this year the Italians accepted a European Commission requirement to use tender processes to more fairly offer licenses across EU member states.