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Italy publishes new structure for online gambling licences


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New nine-year online gambling concessions will be granted by the end of the year.

Italy.- The government has published the new framework for online gambling licences in the parliamentary gazette. New nine-year online gambling concessions will be granted by the end of the year with licence fees of €7m a piece.

The licence fee is 35 times that of the €200,000 fee introduced in 2018, and operators will also pay 3 per cent of annual gross gaming revenue (GGR) after taxes. The Ministry of Finance argued that the hike was justified because market dynamics have changed due to the domination of a limited number of large operators, specifically SNAI, Lottomatica (which is acquiring SKS365), Flutter and Entain.

The new framework is also intended to settle protracted legal disputes over licence renewals between operators and the Italian regulator, the ADM Customs and Monopolies Agency. The government had intervened to stop ADM from terminating licences that were to expire in 2023 and 2024. However, the online gambling association Logico argues that the rise in fees will limit competition.

Licence terms will limit operators to one website and one app per gambling product. No affiliated skin websites will be permitted. Meanwhile, technical rules will include requirements for customers to set play limits, with warning messages to be sent when limits are near. The ADM will have the power to use payment blocking to tackle unlicensed online gambling.

Lotto Euro tender

The Italian government will also open a tender for the Lotto Euro game, which is currently managed by IGT under a licence running until November 2025. It’s expected that Lotto Euro’s annual turnover will reach €7.7bn beyond 2025, with around €200m in net annual revenue for nine years. The government has set a starting bid of €1bn.

Meanwhile, progress remains slow on Italy’s land-based gambling reforms. The Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) has begun talks with the country’s 20 autonomous regions but little headway has been made on how the new legislation will be implemented.

Updated legislation introduces new rules for betting shops, arcades, gaming machines and bingo halls, including minimum distance requirements and changes to opening hours. However, the Italian gaming news site AgiproNews reports that discussions “immediately stalled” because the regions had doubts about the reforms.

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