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Italy Introduces Reforms in Online Gambling Regulations and Licensing

Italy's recent approval of sweeping reforms in online gambling regulations signals a significant shift in the industry's landscape, introducing new nine-year concessions and heightened licensing fees to foster transparency and consumer protection. These reforms aim to modernize the sector, address market imbalances, and ensure a fair and competitive gaming environment for operators and players alike.
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Christian McDeen | Caesar of Lands of Betting and Live Casino

Updated: Apr 10, 2024

Italy Introduces Reforms in Online Gambling Regulations and Licensing

Italy's online gambling landscape is undergoing a significant transformation following the recent approval of major reforms by the Italian Board of Ministry. This comprehensive overhaul of the regulatory framework marks a pivotal moment in the country's approach to online gambling, introducing a series of reforms to modernize the industry and address key licensing, market dynamics, and consumer protection challenges.

licensingThe approved legislative decree heralds a new era for online gambling in Italy, with several key provisions set to reshape the regulatory landscape and redefine the operating environment for industry stakeholders. Central to the reforms is the introduction of new nine-year online gambling concessions, slated to be granted by the end of the year. These concessions represent a departure from the previous licensing regime and are designed to provide greater clarity and stability to operators while enhancing consumer protection measures.

A notable aspect of the reform is the significant increase in licensing fees, with operators now required to pay EUR 7 million per license, a substantial uptick from the previous fee of EUR 200,000 introduced in 2018. In addition to the upfront licensing fee, operators will be subject to a 3% levy on their annual gross gaming revenue (GGR) after taxes. This fee structure reflects the evolving dynamics of the market, characterized by the dominance of a limited number of large operators. It is intended to level the playing field while generating revenue for the government.

While the heightened licensing fees have drawn scrutiny from industry stakeholders, including the online gambling association Logico, who argue that the increase could potentially stifle competition, proponents of the reforms maintain that they are necessary to address market imbalances and ensure a fair and transparent gaming environment. By instituting clear licensing terms, including restrictions on the number of websites and apps per operator, the government aims to promote responsible gaming practices and safeguard consumer interests.

regulationIn addition to the reforms in online gambling licensing, the Italian government has also announced plans to open a tender for the management of Lotto Euro, a popular lottery game currently operated by IGT under a license set to expire in November 2025. The tender presents an opportunity for operators to vie for the lucrative contract, with the potential for substantial revenue generation in the years ahead.

Despite the progress in online gambling regulation, efforts to reform the land-based gambling sector have encountered challenges. Discussions between the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the country's autonomous regions have yet to yield concrete results. However, stakeholders remain optimistic about the potential for meaningful reforms in the future as the government seeks to strike a balance between promoting responsible gaming practices and supporting the industry's growth.

The implementation of the new regulatory framework is expected to have far-reaching implications for the Italian online gambling industry, influencing market dynamics, operator strategies, and consumer behavior. As operators navigate the evolving regulatory landscape, compliance with the stringent requirements outlined in the reforms will ensure long-term viability and sustainability in the Italian online gambling market.

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