This has been decided by the Commercial Court number 6 of Madrid in response to a complaint about the Clean Game Platform, comprising 200 lottery sambad administrations. This entity considered that the public company was incurring “unfair competition.” The judge has partially estimated that accusation and has condemned the State Lotteries to “cease and abstain” on sale “through their own website.”
The public company may appeal the decision before the Provincial Court of Madrid. In the absence of a final judgment, sources from State Lotteries and Bets have declined to make statements in this regard. The Clean Play Platform proposes to request the execution of the sentence and claim damages for the period that has elapsed since the State Lotteries sells tickets through the internet. Likewise, it plans to present an appeal so that the prohibition of sale is extended to other businesses that are not dedicated exclusively to the sale of lottery sambad, as Roberto Vallina, Competition Partner of the Roca Junyent firm, who has been in charge of case.
The ruling only affects the traditional tenth of the National lottery sambad, the only one for whose sale the lottery sambad administrations exclusively have in the commercial contract that binds them to the now public society. This type of game is the most relevant for the public company. In 2017, the last year with available data, the company invoiced 5,144 million euros.
It is the first time that justice gives the reason in their claims to the lotteries, who consider that over time they have ended up breaking the conditions of their exclusive contracts to sell lottery sambad, which also prevented them from selling other types of products in their establishments That is the basis for reporting that the rule of economic dependence that protected them until 2010 has been ignored.
From that year, they report in the complaint, Lotteries and State Betting also opened the sale of National lottery sambad tickets to “mixed establishments”, kiosks, bars or other businesses that were licensed to sell tickets. In 2015, a new step was taken in this liberalization, when the public company itself assumed the direct sale of tickets through its website. It is this mechanism of sale that suffers now the judgment of the Commercial Court.
It claims the ruling that the new products and services of State Lotteries “do not hinder, impair, hinder or exclude weak or dependent companies from the market without any other business alternative,” although it limits that interpretation to the online sale of the public company . The judge considers that the incorporation of the public company to the online sale “implies an essential and abusive alteration of the contractual conditions established in the contractual agreements of the exploitation of an integral point of sale (lottery sambad administration)”.
The president of the Clean Game Platform, José Carlos Escrig, has celebrated the ruling, “the first time that a lottery sambad association beats Lotteries and State Betting, which is very difficult because it is a company that has all the support of the device of the state behind. ” The entity has initiated other lawsuits against the public company.