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Italy’s Regulator Sends New Gambling Concession Papers to Treasury

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Italy’s Customs and Monopolies Agency (ADM), the body in charge of regulating gambling activities in the country, has recently submitted the documents required to outline the regulations for new online gambling concessions to the Treasury. This submission follows the introduction of the new framework for online gambling licenses in the parliamentary gazette in April.

New License Fees Significantly Increased

The regulator has settled on a nine-year online gambling concession fee of €7 million ($7.57 million) per operator, which is a significant increase from the €200,000 fee imposed in 2018, being 35 times higher. Additionally, online operators wanting to offer their services to local players must pay 3% of their annual gross gaming revenue (GGR) after taxes. These increases have been deemed reasonable by the Ministry of Finance, considering the evolving dynamics of the gambling market dominated by a few major operators, including Scommesse Sportive, Slot, Giochi e Casinò Online (SNAI), Lottomatica (after acquiring SKS365), Entain, and Flutter.

Awaiting Treasury and Council of State’s Opinion

Once the new framework gets the binding opinion from the Treasury and Council of State, it will be included in the country’s Decree on the Reorganisation of Gambling, which currently focuses on brick-and-mortar gaming topics. Following this, the technical rules will be sent to the European Commission for assessment and will undergo a three-month standstill period.

Operators to Ensure Games and Systems Compliance

Operators awarded a license will need to ensure their games and systems are verified by third-party certification bodies. The ADM will also implement new controls to enhance the monitoring of player funds. Antonio Giuliani, head of ADM’s online office, mentioned that the agency is planning a “D-day” for current gambling operators to start collecting bets under the new framework, with other operators given up to six months to launch the new system. Giuliani emphasized that all operators, whether current licensees or new applicants, will benefit from “equal conditions.”

Changes in Bonus Management

In June, Italy introduced new regulations concerning the management of bonuses, including updated legislative criteria on their usage, terms and conditions, banking options, and how they would be counted for tax purposes. Operators had been anticipating these changes since the regulated market opened in 2006, citing a lack of clarity in the methodology used to determine the cost of bonus rewards. Now, with the new amendments, taxes will be calculated based on both the bonuses applied and the stakes placed by players to meet wagering requirements and cash out winnings.

ADM’s Commitment to Address Errors

The ADM has also initiated a research, training, and information project aimed at the National Addiction and Doping Centre of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (the Italian Institute of Health). This initiative includes a process to address palpable errors, enabling systematic corrections without requiring court action.

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