The repercussions are gathering pace on November’s arrests relating to money-laundering and illegal gambling charges, undertaken by Italian Police’s joint ‘anti-Mafia’ taskforce.
No Italian gambling/betting stakeholder should expect an easy end of year, as Italian Parliament probes for an explanation on the nation’s biggest money-laundering investigation, underlying more than two-years of systemic AML and corruption failings.
Last week, thirty Parliamentary members of the co-governing 5Stars Party, demanded that much-maligned Economic First Minister Giovanni Tria undertake an immediate investigation of Italian gambling regulator – Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM).
Filing a demand with the Cabinet, 5Star members seek to know whether the ADM maintains the ability to control and monitor the gambling sector, both at an IT systems level for its online transactions and whether ADM sanctioned operator licensing mechanisms are in need of drastic restructuring.
Putting forward concerns, 5Star parliamentary members state that the ADM’s ‘state-sanctioned trademark for licensed gambling’ has been tarnished by the police raids which have seized over €1 billion in illegal assets assisting money laundering, stolen data, tax evasion and black market activities.
At the centre of police investigations are Malta-based and ADM approved online gambling operators SkS365 Malta (the former operating company of Planetwin365), Revolutionbet, Betaland and Enjoybet. who have been accused of ‘knowingly acting’ as money laundering vehicles for Mafia operatives.
Seeking answers on multiple AML failings, 5Star demands of Giovanni Tria’s treasury office are comprehensive, with filing signatory Francesco Silvestri (MS5) demanding that Tria undertake a full internal audit of ADM processes operated by SOGEI, the Italian state-owned administrative and tax systems provider.
Speaking to media, Francesco Silvestri, states that the Anti-Mafia investigations are a “tip of the iceberg that has stolen Italian citizens more than a billion euros and moved €4,5 billion through a series of clandestine and not transparent gaming business networks that carried the ADM trademark.”
Italian betting stakeholders will fear that the ADM may become a further politicised government body aiding the Lega-5Star coalition’s hostile stance against the industry.
This Summer, undertaking a restructure of government departments, the Lega-5Star coalition government moved to install Benedetto Mineo as new Director General of the ADM replacing long-term incumbent Giovanni Kessler.
The move was criticised by Italian gambling incumbents, who stated that Lega-5Star had installed a political/regulatory novice appointing Mineo to lead a ‘politically cleansed’ ADM.
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