Italy enters final phase of new licensing regime 

Italy is making strides in the ‘reorganisation of gambling’. ADM, the Customs and Monopolies Agency, is now in the final stages of launching a new framework for online gambling concessions.

Last Friday, ADM submitted its new framework documentation to the Treasury. The Treasury and the Council of State will provide a binding opinion on these proposals.

Once approved, this framework will become part of the ‘Reorganisation of Gambling’ decree, which will revamp Italy’s online and land-based gambling laws.

Before it can be adopted, the technical rules will be sent by the Ministry of Made in Italy (formerly the Ministry of Enterprise) to the European Commission for evaluation. This process includes a three-month ‘stand still period’ before it can be adopted in Italy.

The Ministry of the Economy and Finance (MEF) has sanctioned a new licensing framework that charges a €7 million fee for online gambling concessions lasting nine years.

This €7 million fee is a 35x increase from the €200,000 fee for concessions granted in 2018. MEF supports this increase as appropriate for a market led by major gambling companies like SNAI (Playtech), Flutter Entertainment, Lottomatica, and Entain.

ADM has changed the terms of the concessions to ban skin gambling websites. Operators will now be limited to one brand per licence.

According to Agipronews, each licence is now restricted to “one concessionaire, one website”. ADM requires operators to “activate an app for each type of product category: betting, casino, poker, and bingo.”

New concessions will face stricter scrutiny on IT security and game integration between operators and suppliers. Licensees must ensure their games and IT systems are verified by an external certification body once the decree is in effect.

ADM will have enhanced controls to monitor player funds and their management by licensees.

As it moves into the final procedures, ADM plans to establish a D-day for launching the new licensing regime. Antonio Giuliani, Head of ADM’s online office, stated, “The Agency will set a D-day for the current operators to start collecting bets with the new regime.”

“Other operators will have up to six months to launch their systems, as required by law. We will ensure equal conditions for current licensees and new operators who obtain the licence,” he added.

If the new framework launches in 2024, ADM will achieve a key goal of the Reorganisation of Gambling decree: resolving long-standing legal disputes over Italian gambling concessions granted since 2011.

This Reorganisation Decree marks the first regulatory evaluation of Italian gambling since the authorisation of online gambling in 2011. The decree aims to protect players, especially minors, combat criminal activities, and increase tax revenue for government projects and social initiatives.