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Slow progress on Italian gambling reforms


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Negotiations between the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the regions have reportedly stalled.

Italy.- It’s been reported that progress remains slow on the Italian gambling reorganisation. 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.

Regional leaders have submitted a proposal on how the changes could be applied but the MEF did not approve it. The Treasury is due to publish recommendations today (April 2). The MEF remains optimistic about reaching an agreement on a framework for new rules focusing on quality standards instead of strict distance regulations.

Other controversies in the new legislation include proposals for closures in advance of major sporting events and lottery draws, which some fear will cause revenue losses for operators and the state. Regional leaders have also asked for €300m a year in funding for the monitoring of venues and implementation of safer gambling measures.

The Conferenza Unificata, which coordinates the cooperation between Italy’s central government and the country’s autonomous regions, has urged regional presidents and municipal councillors to support the planned reorganisation of land-based gambling.

Phase 1 of Italy’s gambling reforms aim to modernise the concession model for land-based gambling franchises and to introduce standardised rules for gambling venues across the administrative regions. 

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