Italy’s gambling re-organisation

Jake Graves 2 months ago
Italy’s gambling re-organisation

Italy’s Chamber of Deputies has approved the “Tax Delegation Law” in the hopes of laying the foundations for an industry-wide re-organisation across the Southern European nation’s gambling sector.

The bill is currently awaiting secondary approval from the Senate and is expected to become law with no apparent challenge forthcoming.

A great proponent of this mandate has been Deputy Minister for the Economy Maurizio Leo who has expressed the government’s intention to finalise the bill’s passage before the summer break in August.

Subsequent to this bill’s completion it is expected that the following reforms will take nearly two years to be enacted with a further year to set up the new licencing regime.

Modernising the Italian gaming market

At the start of the year, Leo was tasked with the leadership of a delegation that was to modernise the Italian gambling market.

The Managing Director of the Agency of Customs and Monopolies (ADM), Roberto Alesse, welcomes the new legislation as an opportunity to address a host of outstanding issues currently plaguing both the sector as a whole along with the lives of Italy’s citizens.

Alesse names improved player protections and consistency of industry standards as key factors in need of amendment.

Italy’s current shortcomings

Alesse has highlighted Italy’s fragmented regional laws concerning gambling, assuring stakeholders that local authorities and the ADM will work together to identify what he describes as “sensitive areas” with the aim of protecting vulnerable groups.

Additionally, the reforms also acknowledge the delicacies required when dealing with the public gaming sector, as it is a significant component of the Italian economy bringing in nearly €11bn in annual tax revenue and employing 150, 000 individuals.

Reforms in draft

The draft law suggests that the Italian government wishes to enact the continuation of the model based on state concessions and police authorisation. Within this system, the local and federal legislatures will seek a joint solution for the unique individual laws for gambling venues.

This reconstruction is aimed at bolstering Europe’s second-strongest gambling market while also bringing into effect indispensable protections for problem gamblers.

Protections for problem gamblers

The reform currently stipulates that these outlets must comply with specific opening times and maintain a regionally mandated distance from sensitive areas such as schools and hospitals. This is in the hopes of inducing the migration of a majority of gaming operations into secure, regulated venues.

Further protections include caps on stakes and winnings, mandatory training for concessionaires, dealers and operators, the strengthening of self self-exclusion mechanisms, defining minimum characteristics for gambling venues as well as the prohibition of betting on underage sports competitions.

Additionally, the stability law of 2022 will remain in place with online gaming, machines, betting and bingo concessions being extended until December 31, 2024.

Growth and stability

Despite the heavily restrictive lockdowns in reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the Italian gaming market continues to grow with gross gaming revenue increasing by 31% to €19.6bn with tax revenue seeing a rise of 28%.

The industry itself has aired a positive response to the new reforms, expressing the need for stability and the resolution of several significant issues within the sector

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