Italy - An anti-gambling coalition government has established in Italy since early last year. However, the administration before that reorganized the online gambling licensing framework in the nation before leaving power.
The restructuring was applied in January 2018, before the new coalition was elected. The gaming regulator in Italy is called the Agenzia delle Dogane dei Monopoli (ADM). At the time, it was possible that as many as 120 online gambling licenses would be released. These licenses would be operational until December 31, 2022.
They would cover fixed-odds and pooled sports betting, table games, card games, and poker, as well as bingo and fixed-odds betting between players. No provision was set for online lotteries.
The application deadline for these licenses was on March 19, 2019, but the ADM released a number of licenses before this date. However, the number of applicants was fewer than expected. That was because the new coalition administration implemented a blanket ban on gambling advertising, which included prohibiting gambling sponsorships for sports teams and events.
It will cost €200,000 to acquire a license. If all 120 licenses were released, it would bring in roughly €24m.
The ADM has been diligently working on new regulations for online gambling in the country. These include more stringent anti-money laundering processes and raising the requirements of customers when they are signing up for these online platforms.
The regulator has now completed licenses for 67 new online gambling operators. Back in February, licenses for many of the current license holders were renewed. Included were Microgame, Eurobet, Sisal, and Snaitech.
Among the 67 new license-holders, large-scale operators such as Betfair, Pokerstars, bwin, bet365, and William Hill can now run online gambling platforms in Italy. A number of new sports betting operators, like Pinnacle and Smarkets, also got licenses. These licenses fetched in a total of €13.4m.
Stakeholders will be closely monitoring to see how these new license-holders will perform. Near the end of 2018, the coalition government increased taxes on online casino revenue from 20% to 25%. This move was made with the goal of generating an additional €51m each year.
The AMD turned down applications from seven operators. These were Rating Consulting, Play Live Ltd, Rabbit Entertainment, Constitution of B&B online, Goal & Gaming srl, Betclic Ltd, and Pi Piper Ltd.
Goal & Gaming srl has already begun the appeal process in the Administrative Court of Rome. It is expected that the other operators that were denied will also take the same action.