12/1/09- Italy's top administrative court is expected to rule in mid-January on a disputed Euro 9 billion scratch card tender which will determine whether rivals compete in future with the incumbent Lottomatica SpA, reports the Reuters news agency.
 
The report quotes a spokesman for the Italian regulator AAMS, who announced Monday that the regulator is to appeal a lower court's decision earlier this month to annul the contest for up to four scratch card concessions from June 2010.

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Lottomatica, which holds the current concession, was the only bidder in the contest. However, the company's rival in the Italian market, Sisal, had challenged what it claims are onerous tender terms including a Euro 800 million upfront fee to be shared by winning bidders and a requirement for each concession to operate 10 000 selling points for scratchcards.
 
"AAMS has made an appeal to the Council of State. In mid-January there will be a decision," the AAMS spokesman said, adding the formal appeal will be filed in the next two days.
 
Lottomatica's scratchcard consortium includes Scientific Games as a minority partner.