Italy Will Undertake Significant Changes to Its Online Gambling Laws in 2024 through the ‘Reorganisation Decree’.

January 8, 2024 | Online Gambling

ROMA, Italy (January 5, 2024) — According to local media reports Italy will undertake significant changes to its online gambling laws in 2024 through the Reorganisation Decree.

Summary of the key points:

  1. Regulatory Evaluation: The Reorganisation Decree represents the first regulatory evaluation of Italy’s gambling market since its authorization in 2011.
  2. Aims of the Decree:
    • Protect players, especially minors.
    • Combat criminal activities associated with gambling.
    • Increase tax revenue for government projects and social initiatives.
  3. Licensing Framework Changes:
    • Introduction of a €7 million authorization fee for each online gambling license.
    • Concessionaire’s operating fee set at 3%.
    • Annual fee of 0.2% of net revenues for future concessionaires.
  4. Responsibility and Oversight:
    • A new gambling department will oversee responsible gaming campaigns, reporting to the ADM (Italy’s Customs and Monopolies Agency).
  5. License Limitations:
    • Limits set on the number of licenses available for each operating firm (e.g., SNAI, Flutter Entertainment, Lottomatica, Entain, or SKS365).
  6. Revenue and Fees:
    • Expected revenue from competition is €350 million (€200 million in 2024 and €150 million in 2025).
    • The concession fee will generate new annual revenues of €100 million.
    • Over €6 million per year will come from the registration fee for the Register of online top-up agents.
  7. Concerns from Industry Bodies:
    • The proposed fee increase (35-fold) has raised competition concerns, with trade bodies urging the government to consider necessary changes in consultation with the industry.
  8. Government Response:
    • The government plans to wait and observe how many of Italy’s existing 83 operators will adopt the new license.
    • Treasury Deputy Minister Maurizio Leo sees the Decree’s approval as a means to end legal disputes on licensing extensions.
  9. Judicial Backlog:
    • High Court judges had recommended a new framework due to a backlog of legal challenges by operators disputing the terms of existing concessions.
  10. Additional Measures:
    • Measures included to counter illegal gambling, protect vulnerable players, introduce self-limitation on gambling, disseminate cautionary messages, and enforce customer restrictions based on deposit levels.
  11. Market Safeguards:
    • Proposals for direct blocking of unlicensed websites and payments to and from illegal operators to combat exposure to a €1 billion black market.
  12. Taxation:
    • The decree doesn’t specify tax changes for online gambling; the Ministry of the Economy and Finance (MEF) will wait for the government to finalize the reorganization of laws governing retail gambling venues.
  13. Government Endorsement:
    • PM Giorgia Meloni has endorsed the reorganization, recognizing the gambling sector as a key economic contributor that raised €11 billion in tax revenues in 2022.

SOURCE: LI Contributor.

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